Guns and armies cannot resolve disputes: Mehbooba Mufti

Guns and armies cannot resolve disputes: Mehbooba Mufti

“The wars were fought in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 but they did not yield anything. Our people are suffering and dying due to lingering of the dispute,” she said.

Maintaining that only talks can resolve Kashmir issue, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said guns and armies cannot resolve disputes.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on first day of special session on GST, the Chief Minister said, “Dialogue is the only way for resolution of Kashmir issue.”

“The wars were fought in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 but they did not yield anything. Our people are suffering and dying due to lingering of the dispute,” she said.

Mehbooba, who came under criticism from entire opposition for failing to initiate dialogue between separatists and New Delhi, hit back at the opposition National Conference, saying the party opposed dialogue in the past.

“When I became MLA in 1996 and sought dialogue with separatists, then CM said that they (separatists) should be thrown into Jehlum. Today NC is talking about ceasefire but when Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced ceasefire in 2001, then our CM said that he doesn’t accept any ceasefire,” she said.

“When I K Gujral, then Prime Minister announced at Qazigund that Delhi will hold unconditional dialogue with all stakeholders, then Chief Minister said he would revolt if talks are held.”

Continuing attacks on the NC, Mehbooba said, “Strangulation and trampling of democracy are the main reasons behind the bloodshed in Kashmir.” “You know what happened in 1987 elections. You know what happened with Syed Salahuddin, Muhammad Yasin Malik and others. Are not they the same people who went to Pakistan for arms training?”  Mehbooba asked.

“Had the democratic exercises like 1987 election been conducted fairly and voices of dissent given the respect they deserved, we wouldn’t have seen the terrible phases the State has been passing through.”

Mehbooba said the NC-Congress Government failed to convince the Centre to hold dialogue with separatists during its six-year rule.

“Did you convince Centre to hold the dialogue during your rule? The talks were held only during Vajaypee’s tenure,” she said.

However, Mehbooba also sought support from opposition for facilitating dialogue, saying, ”We should get united and push for talks.”

The Chief Minister also criticized separatists for shutting the door on All Party delegation which visited Kashmir in the midst of 2016 unrest.

“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Pakistan but on his return Pathankot air force base was attacked,” she said.

On the opposition’s allegation of state terrorism, the CM said if it was true, then kids wouldn’t be throwing stones on encounter sites.

“There was a time when people used to run away from encounter sites. Had there been state terrorism, then 12 and 14 year-old kids would not have dared to pelt stones near encounter sites,” she said. 

On implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in J&K, the Chief Minister said, “The special session of the legislature has been convened to empower the House and allay apprehensions of people on the matter.”

“From 1947 several constitutional amendments have been extended clandestinely. We have convened the session so that people know whether GST is beneficial for them or not,” she said.

“This is for the first time in the legislative history of the State that wider consultations were held and a special session of the House was convened to decide whether or not to extend the law to the State,” Mehbooba added.

The Chief Minister paid tributes to former Governor G C Saxena, Ali Muhammad Naik, S Rangeel Singh, Syed Nizamuddin, Rishi Kumar Koushal and Shanti Devi.

Later, the House stood in silence for two minutes to pay respects to the departed leaders.