Maintaining that shutting the doors to emissaries of dialogue will not help, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the separatist leadership, by spurning parleys, was not facilitating a solution but only holding up the resolution process.
“We have lost several opportunities in the past to resolve the issue through engagement and dialogue and today again if we miss the chance, the coming generations are never going to forgive us for our intransigence,” said Mehbooba.
Mehbooba said that she was not working with elections in mind. “I am not working for the next elections, I am working for the next generation. I might not even fight the next elections,’’ she said. “I am confident and convinced that I am on the right path and will fight till the end. I am confident that the majority of people in Kashmir don’t even want this disruption.”
Mehbooba said that the people of the state, irrespective of their age, gender, status or political affiliation, have suffered the disastrous consequences of the turmoil.
Maintaining that her party consistently advocated dialogue both with Pakistan and all sections of the society within the state, including separatists, Mehbooba said that whether it was the party’s common minimum programme with the Congress in 2002, its election manifestos or its Agenda of Alliance with the BJP, the PDP repeatedly reiterated its agenda of peaceful resolution of the issue through engagement and reconciliation. “And to a large extent, we had succeeded in facilitating setting off a productive reconciliation and resolution process in and around J&K between 2002 and 2005,” she said.
Stressing the need to continue efforts for peaceful resolution, Mehbooba called for reaching out to people through substantive political and economic measures to address the anger, alienation and aspirations. She also urged the separatist leadership to engage in negotiations to make peace a reality in the state and bring an end to the miseries of the people.
“Despite challenges and impediments, the prevailing painful situation necessitates again reaching out to all shades of political opinion and initiating substantive political and economic measures to revive and consolidate the peace and resolution process,” she said.