SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday told Hurriyat leaders that they won’t get talks offer everyday and asked them to come to the talks table to save Kashmiris from bloodshed. She said the ceasefire and talks offer by Centre was an opportunity for separatists to stop bloodshed in Kashmir.
“Hurriyat leaders should come forward and start talking if they want to save Kashmiris from bloodshed,” Mehbooba said while addressing PDP workers.
She said Kashmiris and the leadership have to decide whether they want to respond to the talks offer by the Centre or continue to live in the present state of affairs, where youths pick up stones and guns.
Referring to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s talks offer to Hurriyat, Mehbooba said, “The country is looking towards the Kashmiri leadership on the talks offer. Nobody will advocate on Kashmir’s behalf if the present offer is rejected.”
She asserted that the mainstream parties had created an environment for Hurriyat to talk by making the Centre announce the unilateral ceasefire and offer talks to separatists. “Now it is up to the separatists to take advantage of the opportunity. We can’t force or dictate you, but then everybody needs to come forward to get J&K out of this pain and bloodshed.”
Terming Kashmir a political issue, Mehbooba said resolution of the problem cannot come through military means. “Militancy, guns and grenades haven’t taken the state anywhere but pushed youth of the state to distress. Dialogue is the only way forward.”
Stating that Kashmir was facing difficult times, she said, “We should give our youth a chance to get out of stones and guns. Yesterday, an orphan was mowed down amid stone-throwing. Why should our youth throw stones”.
Referring to young boys joining militancy, Mehbooba said, “Nothing has changed even though thousands of people have joined militancy in the past and large numbers of grenades were thrown. The increase in militancy will further increase the footprints of security forces in Kashmir. “If the situation improves, we can get security footprints reduced and convert the security camps into playgrounds and colleges for our youth”.
Referring to series of grenade attacks by militants despite Ramadan ceasefire by security forces, Mehbooba said, “By throwing grenades during the Ramadan ceasefire, they don’t even care about civilians who might get killed or injured. The CRPF men are here to earn livelihood and by killing them, we won’t achieve anything.”