It is Not Necessary for Hurriyat Leaders to be Part of India-Pak Talks: Mehbooba Mufti
SRINAGAR: The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the separatist groups in Kashmir can't be mandatorily included in every bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan.
“It is not necessary that Hurriyat leaders should be included in bilateral talks between India and Pakistan," PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, said "There are many issues between these two countries and separatist leaders could not be invited every time".
“When India and Pakistan talk about terrorism or border tensions, I don’t think it is necessary that they (separatists) be involved. It is also true for us (PDP),” she said, adding when the two countries talk of political resolution, the inclusion of all political voices in Kashmir, "including separatists", will make sense.
Terming the news about her father and the J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's deteriorating health conditions as "rumours", Mehbooba Mufti said he is "all well" and will be returning to Srinagar on Tuesday.
"By the grace of God, he is all well. He will be returning home from Delhi on Tuesday".
She said the chief minister had gone to Delhi and Mumbai for treatment and later visited Bengaluru to meet his son. “Today, he came back to Delhi and will return to Valley tomorrow,” she said. Asked about the reports of Mufti's deteriorating health, she said: “If people will speculate, what can I do”.
Jammu and Kashmir is full of rumours about the chief minister, who is aged over 78 years, not keeping well. The party leaders, however, remain tightlipped about the matter.
Sources said age has caught up with the chief minister and his health woes have increased, especially after he took over as the leader of the new coalition.
"Sometimes he (Mufti) doesn't remember what he says moments ago. There are other medical complications as well, but he will do fine," sources within the party said.
Meanwhile, urging the Centre to resume the process of political reconciliation for resolution of Kashmir issue, Mehbooba said the PDP's ‘self rule’ is the only viable solution to end the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
"Mufti Mohammad Sayeed along with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took many initiatives and started the process of reconciliation between the two countries. Unfortunately, the successive state governments didn't follow it up. Even the cross LoC bus flagged off in 2003 remains what it was. Today, we have to start everything from zero," she said.
"History has come a full circle. It is time for the political leadership at the Centre to resume that process which is fondly remembered in J&K as one of prosperity, economic rejuvenation and peace," she added.
Addressing a convention of party workers in north Kashmir's Baramulla, the PDP president, who has returned to the state's political arena after a brief hiatus, said her party strongly advocates talks and inclusion of separatist leadership in the process.
The PDP President also urged the Centre to revive the political reconciliation in the state as was done in 2003. “There is no alternative to the peace process and its foundation was laid by our party when we came to power," she said.
Earlier, addressing delegate’s convention, PDP president said that her party joined hands with Bhartiya Janta Party only to safeguard special status of the state. “We could have formed government with the National Conference and Congress, but it took us two and half months to finalise our alliance with the BJP as we wanted to safeguard the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,’’ she said.