Underlining she ran the risk of being “called anti-national” by some TV channels, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday called for talks between India and Pakistan, saying “there is no alternative” and she could not allow a situation where “people die every day” in the cycle of violence in the state.
Addressing the J-K assembly on the last day of the Budget session, the Chief Minister, speaking on the issue of Kashmir, said: “We have fought three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and have won all of them, even the Kargil war. But our basic problem has not been resolved. Baatchit ke bina koi hal nahin hai (there is no alternative to talks).”
Referring to a convention held in Odisha — she did not take any name — by the Pakistan-India People’s Forum For Peace and Harmony, Mufti said: “They stressed the need for dialogue, they said India, Pakistan will have to talk.”
Taking a swipe at debates on some TV channels, she said anyone who calls for talks with Pakistan is called anti-national. “Agar Mehbooba Mufti yeh baat karegi to anti-national ho jayegi, agar (NC leader) Omar Abdullah yeh baat karengey to anti-national ho jayenge… So should I say, let people die but I will not agree to talks.”
“There are some media houses that have created an atmosphere where even talking about talks has become anti-national. They hold the worst debates with polarised mindsets. They bring people from Kashmir who are not even known in their own colonies. They always speak anti-India. They are picked up because they use unparliamentary and bad language, particularly against India, and the same type of people are picked from the other side to reply to them,” she said.
Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 12, 2018
Recalling former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s peace initiatives of taking the bus to Lahore and holding talks with General Pervez Musharraf in Agra, Mufti said: “I wonder what these people would have said if Vajpayee Sahab had such things today.”
Slamming TV channels for “using” J&K to “increase their TRPs”, she said: “Aap log tandoor mein rotiyan sekna bandh karein (refrain from cashing in on the conflict).”
On the terror attack at the Sunjuwan military station in Jammu, the Chief Minister said there cannot be foolproof security for any installation since militants come to die.
Noting that Kashmiris were losing lives on the borders and in the hinterland, she said she was happy that both the opposition and ruling parties in the state favoured dialogue for conflict resolution.