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No Alternative To Dialogue With Pakistan: Mehbooba

"If Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti say hold talks with Pakistan, they are dubbed anti-national. There is no alternative (to resolve the issue) except by holding talks."


Jammu—Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday pitched afresh for a dialogue between India and Pakistan to end the violence in the restive state.

The chief minister also hit out at some media houses, which, she claimed, have created an atmosphere in which the very talk of talks was considered anti-national.

"If Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti say hold talks with Pakistan, they are dubbed anti-national. There is no alternative (to resolve the issue) except by holding talks," Mehbooba told the state Assembly in Jammu on the concluding day of the budget session.

"If we (the Kashmiris) don't talk about it (dialogue), who will? Not a Bihari, not a punjabi," she said.

A CRPF constable was killed in a gunfight with terrorists in downtown Srinagar after security forces foiled militants' attempts to strike a CRPF camp. The mllitants were still holed up in an abandoned house in Karan Nagar in the heart of the city where intermittent firing was on.

"We have fought three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and have won all of them, even Kargil war, but our basic problem has not been resolved," she said, insisting a solution to the Kashmir question lay in talks alone.

Noting that Kashmiris were losing lives on the borders and in hinterland, civilians or security personnel, she said she was happy that both the opposition and the ruling parties in the state favoured dialogue for conflict resolution.

She assailed "some tv channels" for vitiating the atmosphere in the state.

"There are some media houses that have created an atmosphere where even talking about talks has become anti- national. They hold worst debates with polarised mindset. 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 same type of people are picked from the other side to reply to them," Mehbooba said.

Recalling her father, the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she said the former chief minister always favoured dialogue as a tool to strengthen democracy, which, he felt, was a battle of ideas.

Mehbooba Mufti praised the Presiding Officers of the two Houses, Chairman, Haji Anayat Ali; Speaker, Kavinder Gupta and Deputy Speaker, Nazir Gurezi for the patience and manner in which they conducted the proceedings of the two Houses. She also praised the members of the two Houses for raising the issues of public importance during the session.

The Chief Minister also had a word of praise for the staff of both the Houses and all the related Departments for their dedication to make the session a success.

 

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