NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met PM Narendra Modi on Saturday, which marked the 50th day of curfew in the Valley. It was Mehbooba’s second meeting with Modi this month to resolve the Kashmir violence which has claimed 71 lives.
After the meeting, Mehbooba spoke to reporters and blamed Pakistan for provoking youth in the Valley. She said, “If Pakistan has sympathy for Kashmiri youth, they shouldn’t provoke them to attack security camps or police stations. With the situation in Kashmir taking a turn for the worse in the last few days, Pakistan, instead of helping us, is trying to worsen the situation.” She also advised Islamabad to take a leaf out if its former President Pervez Musharraf’s policy who had opined that the UN resolution on Kashmir had no space in the present world.
She praised PM Modi’s efforts to normalise ties with Pakistan. “Like all of us, Prime Minister Modi is very concerned with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister wants this bloodshed to end so that the state comes out of the present turmoil,” she said, adding that an all-party delegation will reach Srinagar and try to reach out to people in the State.
“If things don’t happen during his (Modi’s) tenure, it won’t happen ever. I am sure that the Prime Minister will not forget to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue like the UPA did,” she said.
Stressing that talks are the only way forward, she said a solution could be found only if the other side was willing to talk. “You can only talk with those who want to talk. Those who are inciting the youth don’t want peace. They want bloodshed. Our democracy is large enough to encompass the dreams of Kashmiris. This matter can be solved,” Mehbooba said.
Making an emotional appeal to the people to give her a chance to fix the crisis, she said, “People of Kashmir dream to live with dignity. Give me a chance to fix things instead of inciting further violence. It hasn’t even been two months since I came to power and there has been such a big crisis,” She added that separatists should help the State government in figuring out a solution to the Kashmir unrest.
“I appeal to all those protesting in the streets. You may be angry with me, I may be angry with you, but please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations,” she said.
Over 8000 civilians and more than 4000 security personnel have been injured in the unrest that erupted in Kashmir after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.