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Will initiate dialogue after restoring normalcy in Valley: Mehbooba Mufti

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 April 2017, 14:23 IST

Hours after urging the Centre to follow the footsteps of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in dealing with the Kashmir unrest, Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti on 24 April stated that a dialogue process would be initiated only after normalcy was restored.

The Chief Minister after meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that within two-three months the situation in the Valley would definitely improve.

"In a period of two-three months, you will see a changed Jammu and Kashmir. Next few months are really crucial for us. We will first restore the normalcy, than we will talk. This issue is as old as 70 years," Mufti said.

Mufit further appealed to the media to help in restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We will also hold talks regarding the Whatsapp groups," Mufti stated.

Earlier in the day, Mufti asserted that the ruling dispensation at the Centre must follow the footsteps of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and reach out to the disillusioned and angry youth so as to restore a peaceful atmosphere for governance.

Talking to the media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mehbooba said a conducive atmosphere was required for talks and governance.

"We must start from where Vajpayee ji left... Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow the footsteps of Vajpayee ji, whose policy was of reconciliation, not confrontation. There is no option but to talk," she asserted.

The Chief Minister also said that she discussed the recent by-polls to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, which witnessed large-scale violence and the lowest turnout ever.

"I discussed the issue of less voting percentage in the recent elections and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Modi," she said.

Mehbooba's PDP lost the seat in the by-polls to National Conference.

The Chief Minister also discussed the huge losses to the state due to the Indus water treaty.

"I pressed that Jammu and Kashmir doesn't have control over water resources, and how losses caused by the Indus Waters Treaty can be compensated," she said, adding the Prime Minister has assured assistance in this regard.

The meeting comes in the wake of recent incidents of violence, including the clashes between security forces and civilians during the Srinagar by-elections.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier on Sunday urged all the Chief Ministers to take care of the students from Jammu and Kashmir in their respective states.

His assertion came after Mehbooba raised the issue following assault of six Kashmiri students of Mewar University in Rajasthan by some locals.

The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of several video clips surfacing in recent times, purportedly showing human rights abuses by the security forces.


First published: 24 April 2017, 14:23 IST