Mehbooba welcomes Hurriyat's readiness to talk

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Monday welcomed the Hurriyat Conference’s willingness to hold talks with the Centre, saying it was ‘better late than never’.

“Dair aye durust aye (better late than never). The underlying purpose of the PDP-BJP alliance was to facilitate dialogue between the GoI& all stakeholders. Tried my best to make it happen in my tenure as CM but relieved that Hurriyat has finally softened their stand,” former Chief Minister Mehbooba said in a tweet.

She was referring to Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s call for a tripartite talk between the Kashmiri leadership, New Delhi and Islamabad for resolution of all issues, including Kashmir.

Besides touching on the need for a dialogue during his Friday sermons at Jamia Masjid, the Mirwaiz in his Eid-ulFitr sermon earlier this month had sought confidence building measures between India and Pakistan that could facilitate the revival of talks between the two countries.

Governor Satya Pal Malik, while addressing a function here on Saturday, had said the Hurriyat had softened its stand and were ready for talks after he took charge of the state in August last year.

“The Hurriyat Conference was not willing to talk. Ram Vilas Paswan was standing at their door (in 2016) but they were not ready to talk. Today, they are ready for talks and want to hold dialogue. There is change in everyone,” Malik had said.

The governor’s statement has given rise to speculations that the Centre might be opening dialogue channels with the separatists in Kashmir in near future.

BAIG WELCOMES

Meanwhile, Senior People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister MuzaffarHussianBaig said that it (willingness to talk) is a realistic and wise step by the Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and hoped that Central government will positively react to it.

He, according to local news agency KNS, said that Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement on dialogue is also welcome.  “If we want to protect and maintain the constitutional identity of the state and respect the sentiments of the people of Kashmir, we don’t have any alternative to dialogue,” Baig told KNS, while hailing the statement of Mirwaiz.