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Mehbooba Mufti Calls Upon Separatists to Save State From 'Bloodshed'

Amid reports of youth joining militant ranks, the CM Mufti said the increase in the militancy would only increase the footprints of the security forces in the valley.

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Updated:June 3, 2018, 4:32 PM IST
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Mehbooba Mufti Calls Upon Separatists to Save State From 'Bloodshed'
File photo of Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti.
Srinagar: Urging the Separatists to step forward for dialogue and save the state from "bloodshed", Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday termed the unilateral ceasefire and the offer of talks by the Centre as an opportunity that does not come everyday.

The people of Kashmir and the leadership here have to decide on the opportunity provided by the Centre in terms of unilateral ceasefire, which stopped the bloodshed here, and then the readiness for dialogue, how we benefit from it, Mehbooba said addressing a convention of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mehbooba said the ceasefire and talks offer an opportunity to the separatists to stop bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir.

"It can only be resolved politically thorough dialogue. And when there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre, I request all stake holders to come forward to save J&K and its economy, she said.

While the Centre announced unilateral ceasefire for the holy month of Ramazan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently said the Centre was ready to talk to separatists in the valley if they are willing for a dialogue.

The CM said that while she cannot force the Separatists, they have to think on giving the youth in Kashmir a way out from the stone and gun culture.

We cannot force you or give you a dictation, but can only request even a day before yesterday a youth got killed after he came under a vehicle during stone-pelting. He was an orphan but why take to stone-pelting? Why not give them a way out from this morass, from stone or gun culture, she said.

Putting the onus on the separatists, Mehbooba said the mainstream parties in the state gave them an opportunity by providing an atmosphere for talks and now it was up to the separatists to take advantage of the opportunity.

She said the eyes of the whole country were on Kashmir and if the people here lose this opportunity, then no one will support or advocate for them tomorrow.

The Home Minister of this country is saying they want to embrace Kashmiris and are ready for talks. If we lose this opportunity, nobody will support us tomorrow, no one will advocate for us. The eyes of the whole country are on J&K and its leadership to see what they decide and how they try to save the people of Kashmir, especially its youth. If we have to save J&K, this is an opportunity for us, Mehbooba said.

Amid reports of youth joining militant ranks, the chief minister said the increase in the militancy would only increase the footprints of the security forces in the valley.

The increase in the number of youth picking up guns will increase the presence of army, CRPF and the police here. The more the situation improves, the more we can tell Army, CRPF or police that your role is over and you reduce your footprints, she said.

Referring to the spate of grenade attacks over the last few days, Mehbooba said gun or grenade attacks achieve nothing.

Despite the unilateral ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that army or CRPF jawans have come from far-flung areas for their bread and butter, what will this achieve?

There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved? We have achieved Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, Poonch-Rawalkote road and if the situation improves, I promise you that we will re-open more such routes, she said.

The chief minister also batted for talks between India and Pakistan and condemned the ceasefire violations on the border.

(With PTI inputs)

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