Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday welcomed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s reported statement that the Centre was ready to hold talks with the separatists in the Valley, expressing hope that the separatists would display maturity so that the opportunity is not wasted. Speaking at a programme to mark four years of the NDA government in Delhi, the Union home minister told a TV channel that India is ready to talk to the Hurriyat Conference if they are ready for a dialogue.
“If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we have no problem, we are ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we are ready for it,” Singh said. She welcomed Singh’s assertion that the Centre is ready to talk to every stakeholder including Hurriyat Conference if it comes to table. “It is a welcome step to initiate dialogue and reconciliation in the state,” the chief minister said.
“Given the positive outcome from the ground on the Ramzan ceasefire, the peace constituency in the country and the state should feel encouraged to start the much-needed process of peaceful engagement with all stakeholders in the state,” she said.
“A peaceful engagement among all the stakeholders in the state is urgently needed to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the unending cycle of violence and provide its people, a secure, prosperous and peaceful future,” the chief minister said.
Mehbooba also said parties and groups like Hurriyat Conference will seize the opportunity and show their responsibility towards the people of the state by “displaying the much-needed maturity so that the opportunity is not wasted”.
The chief minister said she has reiterated it time and again that dialogue is the only way forward for resolving issues as violence has lost its relevance in the contemporary world besides taking a heavy toll of the people and the societies. She said even arch-rival nations like the US, North Korea and South Korea ultimately had to take to table to iron out their mutual issues.
PDP Vice-President Mohammad Sartaj Madni also hailed the home minister’s statement and said soon after the Centre’s announcement of suspending anti-militancy operations during the holy month of Ramzan, a process has begun with New Delhi pursuing several other measures of reconciliation and confidence-building.
“Jammu and Kashmir is likely to witness a promising phase of peace and development as a prelude to dispute resolution,” he said. “New Delhi and Islamabad should realize the importance of reconciliation and dialogue if they want to partner the global agenda of growth, development and cooperation and want the people of the sub-continent to come out of cold war situation obtaining here for long,” the PDP leader said.
On May 16, the home ministry had said that security forces will not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.