Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning and emphasised on the need for dialogue to prevent the situation from deteriorating in the Valley.
“How long can you have confrontation… There is no option but to talk…However, an atmposphere needs to be created for a dialogue,” Mufti said while referring to the continuing unrest in Kashmir.
“Talks cannot happen amid stone pelting and firing of bullets,” Mufti told reporters after meeting PM Modi at his residence.
During the 20-minute meeting at PM Modi’s residence, Mufti briefed the prime minister on the situation, particularly about the increase in violence since the April 9 by-poll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
Recent tension in the PDP-BJP alliance over the handling of the security situation in Kashmir also came up at the meeting.
Referring to the increase in stone-pelting incidents, she said there were some young people who were “disillusioned” while some were being “instigated”, including through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Whatsapp.
She invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy on Kashmir, and said the thread should be picked up from where he had left off — an apparent suggestion for talks with separatists.
“Talks with Hurriyat (Conference) had taken place when Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister and L K Advani ji was the Deputy Prime Minister. We need to start from where Vajpayee ji left. Talks are the only way out,” she said.
Mufti’s meeting with the Prime Minister is also taking place against the backdrop of recent bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency which witnessed largescale violence and the lowest turnout ever. In the bypoll, the PDP also lost the seat to National Conference, just in nearly three years after the 2014 general elections.
The PDP and the BJP, which are running the coalition government in the troubled state, are not on the same page on the issue of dealing with the growing trend of stone-pelting and this has led to friction between them.
(With inputs from PTI)