SRINAGAR, APR 17 : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said that the issue of Kashmir is both political and emotional in nature.
Mehbooba Mufti said that any pragmatic and lasting solution needs India and Pakistan sitting together on a table and discussing a solution that addresses the aspirations of the Kashmiris and does not compromise the territorial integrity of either India or Pakistan newslinemagazine reported.
She added “Dialogue and engagement gives you an opportunity to offer a better idea to replace an existing one. For all pragmatic purposes, the foundations of solution are confidence-building measures and engagement, both internally and externally”.
“Not only should Jammu & Kashmir be opened up for the rest of the world through all our traditional routes to China, Central Asia and other geographical locations, but there should also be a sense of unification between the two sides of Kashmir wherein, without changing borders, they are made into a single unit for all practical purposes” Mufti added.
Mehbooba further added that the best explained by the indicator that when Vajpayee and Musharraf engaged in dialogue, that period saw a sharp decline both in infiltration from across the LoC, as well as militancy at large.
It is also a fact that in the absence of any credible forward movement in the dialogue process to resolve the issue of Kashmir, a sense of hopelessness creeps into the youth of the state, which in many cases leads them to take the extreme path of violence.
Mehbooba added that In any case, with the recent confrontation between India and Pakistan, there is hardly anything left to internationalise the issue of Kashmir any further. For resolving the issue, the bottom line remains that the governments of India and Pakistan need to sit and discuss the issue and try and solve the problem, taking the people of the state on board.
Mehbooba added “I am a democrat and I believe that the beauty of democracy is that it can accommodate varied ideas and points of view. In the complex case of Jammu & Kashmir, the Hurriyat and other separatist parties too represent a sentiment and point of view. Without getting into how many people they represent, it is important to accept the existence of such points of view, even if one doesn’t agree with them. Any meaningful engagement would entail discussions with the separatist leadership, and no framework for the resolution of the state of Jammu & Kashmir can have legitimacy without taking such representatives and sentiments on board for discussion.
She added Pakistan has a very important role to play in the overall dynamics of the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. No framework that doesn’t take Pakistan into consideration and account for its importance, would ever be practical and result-oriented. That is what guides the positioning of Pakistan in my politics and my conversations with the electorate. (PTK)