Mehbooba Mufti appeals PM Modi to accept Imran Khan's offer of 'friendship'
Jammu and Kahmir former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept the "hand of frindship" extended by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan for ending bloodshed in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept the "hand of friendship" extended by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan for ending the bloodshed in the state.
Cricketer-turned-politician Khan, in his first public address after leading his party to victory in the general elections, had said Pakistan is ready to improve its ties with India and his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the "core issue" of Kashmir, through talks.
Khan, whose party emerged as the single largest in the National Assembly elections, asserted that the blame game between the two neighbors should stop.
"I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A new government will be formed in Pakistan and there will be a new prime minister, who has extended a hand of friendship towards India. He (Khan) spoke of dialogue. He (Modi) should respond to it positively.
"It is my request that he (Modi) should grab the opportunity and respond positively to the offer of friendship by Imran Khan," Mufti said at a rally here to mark the 19th foundation day of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP president said the forthcoming elections should not become an impediment in starting the reconciliation process with Pakistan.
"Elections come and go. (Then Prime Minister) AB Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan and also entered a ceasefire on the borders. This is statesmanship, such leaders do not think about elections but about the people. Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest challenge for the PMs of our country...," she said.
"The PM who resolves the Jammu and Kashmir issue within the ambit of humanity, ends the bloodshed in the state and improves relations with Pakistan, his name will be written in golden letters in the history," she added.
Asserting that she appealed to the prime minister for the release of the Hurriyat leaders arrested by the NIA on Eid, Mufti said the move would come as a goodwill gesture if the Modi-led government wanted the separatists to come to the dialogue table.
"There was nothing in my hands. What was in my hands I did. We got the Centre to announce a ceasefire and the killings stopped".
On the challenge to special status to Jammu and Kashmir, she said while her party succeeded in getting the BJP to make a commitment that "Article 370 will not be touched", there was a need for all parties to unite to protect it.
"There was a challenge to Article 35A. It was because of our efforts that the Attorney General told the Supreme Court to defer the hearing on the case as the Centre had appointed a special representative for holding dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir.
"I appeal to all parties -- both from mainstream and the separatists -- to set aside differences and come together to defend Article 35A, which is a major challenge," she added.
"There has not been a day since 8 July 2016 that we were allowed to work peacefully," Mufti said.
The last two years have been a headache for me as there was always some issue or the other to deal with, she added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)