JAMMU: Batting strongly for a political solution to the Kashmir issue, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said Wednesday that her party would always pitch for dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the problem.
"Jammu and Kashmir is in dire need of a political solution. We will always pitch for dialogue and reconciliation and want India and Pakistan to come on the table to resolve Kashmir (issue)," Mehbooba told a gathering in the border district of Poonch.
The former chief minister said safeguarding the state's special status was her party's topmost priority.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP), while being part of the government in the state, didn't compromise on its core ideology, she said.
"Every person in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is aware of the fact that the PDP since its very inception has been pitching for dialogue and reconciliation for the resolution of Kashmir (issue) and stood in the forefront for protecting Article 370 (of the Constitution) from any assault," Mehbooba said.
She reiterated that ahead of forming the coalition government with the BJP after the 2014 polls, the PDP signed the agenda of alliance in which it took it in writing from the BJP that Article 370 and the state's unique position would not be fiddled with and that dialogue with all stakeholders, including the Hurriyat, would be initiated by the Government of India.
"Even when the PDP was the part of the government, it didn't allow any tinkering with the state's special status and engaged the country's top lawyers to defend Article 35-A (of the Constitution) in the Supreme Court," the PDP chief said.
Article 35A of the Constitution accords a slew of rights and privileges to the "permanent residents" of the state. Article 370 of the Constitution gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.