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Omar, Mehbooba react to Army Chief’s Taliban remark

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If ready to talk with Taliban, why not with Kashmiri separatists?

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Srinagar, Jan 09: Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday wondered why the Centre was not initiating a dialogue with the Kashmiri separatists if Army chief General Bipin Rawat could bat for holding talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“We bat for talks with taliban, autonomy for Tibet & Tamil areas of Sri Lanka yet we are unwilling to look at engagement or political initiatives in J&K. Why is our policy all about “do as we say, don’t do as we do”? Engagement for Taliban, Operation All-Out for Kashmir,” Abdullah tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Rawat said there should be talks with the Taliban to bring peace in Afghanistan, but asserted that the engagement must be without any preconditions. He was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue — India’s flagship conference on geopolitics — in Delhi.

“If the Army Chief can advocate for talks with (the) Taliban then why different standards when it comes to our own people?” Mehbooba asked in a tweet.

The Peoples Democratic Party president said the Centre should accept the offer of talks by Pakistan and also start a dialogue process with the Hurriyat Conference to end the cycle of violence in the state.

“Accept peace offer from Pakistan, initiate dialogue with (the) Hurriyat and other stakeholders put an end to the vicious cycle of violence in J&K,” she added.

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