Kashmir turmoil: Mehbooba invites separatists for talks with all-party delegation

Mufti is seeking their cooperation by engaging with the delegation to be led by Union home minister Rajnath Singh

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday invited top leaders of separatist group for dialogue with the all-party delegation that is due to arrive in Srinagar on Sunday in a bid to find out a peaceful resolution of the problems the state has been facing following the death of Burhan Wani.

The J&K chief has written letters to the leaders in her capacity as PDP chief, seeking their cooperation by engaging with the delegation to be led by Union home minister Rajnath Singh.

“I write to you in my capacity as the President of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party and request you to take the lead and engage with the all party delegation of Parliamentarians visiting the state tomorrow.

“This will be the start of a credible and meaningful political dialogue and resolution process to end the stalemate+ ,” Mehbooba wrote in the letter addressed to the separatists.

Cutting across party lines and political positions, Mehbooba writes, the country’s political leadership has reached out and “it is for us to collectively lend it credence and credibility”.

“All of us, be it the mainstream political parties or political groups with a separatist agenda, voice the urges and aspirations of our people, as we understand those, and seek a resolution of the problems as we see them from our own perspectives.

“I do hope that you will give this suggestion of mine a thought and indicate a time and place of your convenience for an exchange of ideas with the delegation.”

The chief minister said her party has always believed that the Hurriyat Conference is a stakeholder in the peace, resolution and prosperity of the state. Indeed,  she said, right in the beginning in our party’s founding declaration we stood for dialogue with all stakeholders as the only way forward.

“All of us are deeply concerned, albeit in our own way, about the existing situation in the Valley. Notwithstanding the fact that you and I have different and divergent political ideologies, I have no doubt that all of us have the best interest of the people of J&K in mind.”

“True, our politics and programmes are at variance with each other, but our concerns for our people and society in general, and the future of our youth in particular, should not be any different,” she said.