Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Friday threw a poser as a retort to her criticism by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for championing the cause of talks with Pakistan saying, “Was the former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and one of the tallest leaders of BJP and the country also anti-national as he favoured talks with Pakistan.”
Addressing party delegates in Rajouri, Mehbooba said that Vajpayee even went to Pakistan and extended a hand of friendship from the land of Kashmir to resolve the issues confronting it.
“I did convey my sentiments to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when we met him at New Delhi. During the meeting I flagged this issue, lauded him for talking to Pakistan to bring the much-desired ceasefire in place. I asked him why the government was not talking to Pakistan in a similar fashion for the resumption of travel and trade through Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote routes. I asked why the BJP leaders get enraged when I talk about dialogue with Pakistan. Did it not happen earlier? Did Vajpayeeji not talk about it? Pakistan is our neighbour. How can we move ahead without normalising our ties with our neighbour?” she said. Mehbooba was on a five-day tour to the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
“Mufti (Muhammad Sayeed) Sahab found a receptive and a passionate person in Vajpayee as he told him: ‘Yeh Rastey Khol Dijiye… Yeh Border Khatam Kar Dijiye...’ (Open these routes and make the border invisible) to facilitate easy movement of the divided people from both the sides, besides the traders and other sections and that this will not only unite the divided families but also strengthen the ties among the people, traders of the two nations. Mufti Sahab’s contention convinced Vajpayee. Today even those routes that were opened are closed and trade is not happening,” she said.