In Delhi, Mehbooba Mufti invokes Vajpayee; presses for dialogue on Kashmir issue
Pitching for an early start to a dialogue process with people of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seize the opportunity created by the unrest to "win the hearts" of the masses and solve their problems, the way Atal Bihari Vajpayee did.
Talking to reporters after a two-hour meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Mehbooba also hinted at resuming a dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir issue saying the state could act as a "bridge" between the two nations.
"I believe there is a need to heal the wounds of people, to initiate dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. These are our own people. If process of dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir can improve the situation in valley, we should do it," she said and adding, her state could become a bridge between India and Pakistan.
"There is a need to apply balm to the wounds of Kashmiri people," she said.
The Chief Minister arrived in New Delhi on an unannounced trip as the month-long deadly unrest in the Kashmir Valley continues. Over 55 people have been killed and thousands injured in the weeks of turmoil, triggered by the July 8 killing of rebel commander Burhan Wani.
Mehbooba Mufti was expected to meet the Prime Minister who has not spoken about the Kashmir stir.
She said the central government must initiate the "peace process" that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had started to resolve the long-standing dispute.
"Now is the time to initiate the process of winning the hearts of people. Same process should be taken which was initiated during Vajpayee ji's tenure," she added.
(With agencies inputs)