Mufti advises New Delhi to hold 'serious dialogue' on Kashmir

The Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday advised New Delhi to go for a “serious dialogue” to address internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue.

“A structural dialogue with all stake holders is needed and New Delhi should shun its policy of taking event based initiatives to address the grievances of people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said while addressing party workers at Chrar-e-Shareif in central Kashmir district of Budgam.

He said there is no substitute to resolving the Kashmir issue that “has dampened the immense economic potential of the subcontinent for decades and bruised the body and soul of Jammu and Kashmir.” Terming media-posturing a futile exercise he said it can prove counter productive. “Talking to media on such an important issue (Kashmir) can prove counterproductive,” he remarked. Referring to the lead taken by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 during his visit to Kashmir, Mufti said: “It had come against a grim and potentially disastrous scenario as the two nuclear powers were in combat position following the attack on Parliament.”

“The announcement made by Vajpayee on April 18, 2003 at Srinagar was historic because he extended a hand of friendship towards Pakistan. The process of dialogue should not become a zero sum game as a result of partisan political interest,” the PDP patron said.

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