by IANS |
Srinagar, June 24 (IANS) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Monday welcomed the separatist Hurriyat Conference's offer of talks with the Central government.
Lok Sabha MP and National Conference leader Abdullah said, "After the state Governor said the Hurriyat leaders are ready to talk to the Centre, it is time the Centre approaches them for a dialogue.
"Not only the Hurriyat leaders, talks must also be started with Pakistan to help us (Kashmiris) get out of the present difficult times".
In her reaction, PDP chief Mufti used a Persian couplet meaning 'better late than never'.
Mufti tweeted: "'Dair aye durust aye'. The underlying purpose of PDP-BJP alliance was to facilitate dialogue between GoI (government of India) & all stakeholders. Tried my best to make it happen in my tenure as CM but relieved that Hurriyat has finally softened their stand".
Meanwhile, in a statement here, the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat faction said that the dialogue offer by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan must also be taken seriously.
"Pakistan PM Imran Khan's repeated offer of dialogue on all issues between India and Pakistan including the Kashmir issue should also be seriously considered as a way forward. Hurriyat conference has been maintaining and reiterating that engagement and dialogue among stakeholders is the best and most peaceful means of resolution of Kashmir issue and not force."
"Hurriyat Conference believes that this issue cannot be resolved militarily or through confrontation but by dialogue and deliberations," the statement said.