NEW DELHI: In the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan and terror strikes in the state, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) chief minister Mehbooba Mufti advocated dialogue with the neighbouring country as the only way to resolve differences.
“We fought and won all wars against Pakistan but even now there is no solution other than dialogue, till when will our jawans and civilians keep dying,” Mufti said in the J&K assembly on Monday.
She also called out news media for attacking all and sundry who bat for talks with Islamabad.
“Unfortunately, some media houses have created an atmosphere that if we talk of dialogue (with Pakistan) then we are labeled anti-national,” she said.
“Wonder what some media houses would have called Atalji if he took bus to Lahore in today’s time and talked of dialogue,” Mufti remarked while harking back to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s historic visit to Pakistan in 1999, when he traveled on the Delhi-Lahore bus.
The chief minister’s appeal for dialogue comes as the restive state reels from a terror attack on an Army camp in Jammu’s Sunjuwan, which left five soldiers and a civilian dead and 10 others wounded. Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed responsibility for the attack, and also for the attempted infiltration of the Karan Nagar CRPF camp, where one jawan lost his life in a gunbattle with the ultras.
As well, Pakistani firing and shelling along the LoC and International Border in J&K has already claimed the lives of 20, including nine civilians. Over 75 people were also injured in such incidents this year.
Earlier today, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the efficacy of the BJP-led NDA government’s policy on Kashmir and blamed it for the increasing instances of terror attacks in the Valley.
“The most disturbing fact is that attacks are now taking place in Jammu which had always been safe. Kashmir was unsafe and now this government has made Jammu unsafe too. If Centre is not being able to provide them security it means there is some fault with their policies,” Azad told reporters.