Kashmir issue can only be settled through talks between India-Pak: Mehbooba
Says delimitation exercise ‘part of BJP's plan to divide, pit communities against each other’
Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that neither war nor the gun are solutions, and the issue of Jammu and Kashmir can be only settled through talks between India and Pakistan.
The Centre should also engage the people of the union territory in the dialogue process, she said after visiting Kupwara district’s Zirhama area to express her solidarity with the family of a policeman, who was killed in a militant attack in Baghat area of Srinagar on Friday
Talking to reporters there, Mehbooba regretted the loss of lives over the years in Jammu and Kashmir, and said it was “very unfortunate that the central government is not bothered about it”.
She said if India can talk to China, talks should be held with Pakistan as well.
“China entered into our territory and killed over 20 of our jawans (army personnel). But, despite that talks are being held with them which is a good thing. The talks have been held about a dozen times and some resolution can be seen,” she said.
The PDP chief said Jammu and Kashmir has become a “battleground” between India and Pakistan, and people — common people and security personnel – were getting killed on both the sides.
“War is not a solution to any issue. No issue is settled through gun – be it of the militants or the security forces. So, we think that like any issue is settled across the world by way of dialogue, there is a need to hold talks with Pakistan, as well as in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
When asked about the Centre’s stand on talks with Pakistan, Mehbooba said it seems “they are not worried about the people of Jammu and Kashmir being killed”.
“They are not concerned, and would say let them die. Whenever talks have been held in J&K or with Pakistan like 2003-04 when (BJP leader) L K Advani was deputy prime minister, talks were held with (former Pakistan president Pervez) Musharraf, violence in J&K had decreased significantly, militancy had come down,” she said.
Now also, there is a need to have the same policy and without that, there is no other choice, the former chief minister said.
Meanwhile, about the ongoing delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti today alleged that it a part of the BJP’s “larger plan to divide and pit” regions, religions and communities against each other.
Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba said the Centre was “railroading” delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir with a “tearing hurry”, raising serious apprehensions about the motives of the exercise.
“The tearing hurry with which GOI (the Government of India) is railroading delimitation in J&K has raised genuine & serious apprehensions about the motives of this exercise. It’s a part of BJP’s larger plan to divide & pit regions, religions & communities against each other,” she said.
The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was constituted by the Centre on March 06 last year.
The commission held its first meeting on Thursday to seek suggestion/views on the process of delimitation in respect of the union territory.
The meeting of the commission was attended by two of the five associated members – Union Minister Jitendra Singh and BJP leader and MP from Jammu, Jugal Kishore Sharma.
The other three associated members of the commission – National Conference MPs Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi – did not attend the meeting.
The NC MPs informed the commission that they would not be participating in its proceedings as the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.
In a letter to Chairperson Delimitation Commission, Justice (Retd.) Ranjana Prakash Desai, they expressed their inability to associate with the commission.
They also urged the chairperson not to go ahead with the delimitation process as the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 is under judicial scrutiny in the Supreme Court.
“In our view, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 is palpably unconstitutional and has been enacted in disregard and violation of mandate and spirit of the Constitution of India and therefore not to be acted upon,” the MPs said.
“We have thrown challenge to constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, exercise of powers where-under the meeting in question is proposed to be held,” they said.