Calling the Centre’s offer for a dialogue a “golden opportunity”, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday urged the separatist leaders to use it.
Stating that the the ceasefire and talks happened for the first time during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as the Prime Minister, she said, “Now after 18 years, it is happening in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji’s government. Then, (during Vajpayee government) talks were started at the level of the Deputy Prime Minister Advani ji, who was also the then home minister, and today that is being repeated,” the Chief Minister said.
Mehbooba added that it was the first time that the country has a “powerful Prime Minister” and a “powerful political party” at the helm of affairs.
“…we can’t force any one, but I hope they (separatists) will take advantage of this offer… This is a golden opportunity,” she said.
During a two-day visit to the state last week to review the security situation and the ongoing suspension of security-related operations in view of Ramzan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that the Centre is ready to hold talks with all “right-minded” people in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, but the neighbouring country should stop terror activities emanating from its soil.
While speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to inaugurate a bridge, the Chief Minister also said the offer of dialogue and the Ramzan ceasefire, so far, had had a positive effect on the ground and had provided relief to the people.
“The daily bloodshed, the daily killings have stopped. It has had a positive effect,” she said. The Chief Minister expressed hope that the Centre would extend the ceasefire.