Srinagar: Maintaining that shutting the doors for emissaries of dialogue is not going to help anyway, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said by spurning the parleys, the separatist leadership is not facilitating the solution of the problem but only holding up the resolution process.
“We have lost several opportunities in the past to resolve the issue through engagement and dialogue and today again if we miss the chance, the coming generations are never going to forgive us for our intransigence,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a function organized here in connection with the formal launch of UJALA scheme in Kashmir.
Maintaining that her party has been consistently advocating dialogue with Pakistan and all sections of the society within J&K, including the separatists, for the permanent resolution of the Kashmir issue, Mehbooba said whether it was the party’s Common Minimum Programme with Congress in 2002, its Election Manifestos or the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ with BJP, PDP has repeatedly reiterated its agenda of peaceful resolution of the issue through engagement and reconciliation. “And to a large extent we had succeeded in facilitating setting off a productive reconciliation and resolution process in and around J&K between 2002 and 2005,” she said and claimed that the party’s position is same and it was in this spirit that she recently wrote to the separatist leaders requesting them to engage in talks for the resolution of the issue.
The Chief Minister revealed that when VP Singh was the Prime Minister in nineties and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Union Home Minister, the later had prevailed on Mr Singh that he has an opportunity to rewrite the subcontinent’s history, if he can resolve the Kashmir issue. “ VP Singh agreed to engage with various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the issue through dialogue and fortunately at that time Government of India was ready to discuss every possible solution. Accordingly, the separatist leadership in Kashmir was approached through emissaries to engage with New Delhi for the settlement of the issue, however, they refused to come to the negotiating table and lost the first opportunity to resolve the issue,” Mehbooba said.
“Another opportunity was lost when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee set off the peace and reconciliation process on both external and internal fronts in 2003,” she said. “Again the Hurriyat leadership was invited for talks to resolve the issue. However, because of the internal discord within the separatist leadership at that time, another opportunity to resolve the issue was lost,” she said.
“If anything was achieved in Jammu and Kashmir since the partition of the subcontinent, it was between 2002 and 2005 when cross-LoC roads were opened for movement of people and goods and there was peace along the borders,” she claimed.