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Mehbooba raises pitch for talks with Hurriyat

Manmath Nayak1 |

A day before an all-party delegation arrives here from Delhi, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly pitched for talks with separatist leaders for peace in the Kashmir Valley.

"The country’s political leadership must, without any further delay, reach out and engage all sections of the society including the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference in a productive dialogue process to resolve the issue and make peace a reality in Jammu and Kashmir," Mehbooba said.

She was interacting with the people in a south Kashmir village where she had gone to offer condolences to the bereaved family of Mashooq Ahmad Sheikh who was killed in firing by security forces last month.

The Chief Minister said it is perhaps for the first time that the issue has been discussed in so many forums and at so many levels during the last two months, including parliament.

"The need of the hour is to build on this larger political consensus within the country and initiate tangible measures to address the issue," she said.

The chief minister said during her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month she suggested a three-pronged approach including talks with all sections of society, including the separatist leadership and also with Pakistan to put the reconciliation and resolution process back on track.

She expressed the hope that the upcoming visit of the all- party delegation to the state would facilitate revival of the much needed peace and resolution process.

The Chief Minister said the people have given the present government a mandate to voice their aspirations and seek resolution of the problems.

"The same has been reiterated in the government’s ‘agenda of alliance’ wherein it has been made clear that the state government will create conditions to facilitate resolution of all issues and will help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all the stakeholders."

An all-party delegation is visiting the Kashmir Valley on Sunday. It is expected to have talks with cross sections of society there.