New Delhi, Aug 25 :Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday that there is no way out of the Kashmir conflict other than dialogue and engaging with Pakistan.
Praising former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she said the people of Kashmir hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would take forward the Vajpayee legacy. The political process started by Vajpayee can end the unrest in the border state.
Talking to India Today for the first time after losing power, Mehbooba said: “A political process was started by Vajpayee. We share his legacy; we don’t have to invent any new wheels. The process of dialogue with Kashmiris and reconciliation with Pakistan wasn’t taken forward by either UPA-1 or UPA-2. Even the NDA government could not move forward with it. There is disillusionment. Unfortunately, militants have taken advantage of this and violence has been increasing.”
The former CM said her party’s main agenda was to solve the Jammu and Kashmir problem. People expected to see a Vajpayee in PM Modi but were disappointed. “There was no consistency in Modi government’s policy towards Pakistan”.
Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while emphasising the importance of a dialogue with Pakistan said that her party will once again try to create new ways and means to initiate the dialogue. She said, “We must hold Pakistan PM Imran Khan with respect.”
Earlier, the former J&K chief minister had lauded Atal Bihari Vajpayee, calling him a “messiah” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“He was a great human being but for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he was not less than a messiah,” Mehbooba had then said. “He was the first Indian leader who trusted the people of Jammu and Kashmir and whom the people trusted,” she added.
Jammu and Kashmir is currently under Governor’s rule after the BJP and PDP split their ways and the state government fell in June.