Unconditional dialogue with humanitarian approach needed for Kashmir, says Mehbooba Mufti

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New Delhi, Sep.15 (ANI): The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and chief opposition leader in Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti, here on Wednesday appealed all leaders for holding an unconditional dialogue with an humanitarian approach to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Talking to reporters today after attending over three-hour all-party meet, presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his residence, Mufti said that a mutual dialogue between the Central government and the separatist factions in the Kashmir valley could lead to a viable solution that would put an end to the unrest in the State.

"We have appealed to all the political parties, all the political heads, who were there, that they should look at Kashmir problem from a humanitarian angle. They should get together and find a solution to the Kashmir problem through dialogue. The Prime Minister has to offer an unconditional dialogue. Not only unconditional from his side, I would also expect from the others side. The other side may be the Hurriyat, the separatist, they should also not put forward any condition and there has to be a dialogue but before that we need to release the prisoners, we need to lift the siege that Kashmiri people are living in," said Mehbooba Mufti.

Mufti emphasised that all the parties must set aside their political difference and try to resolve the Kashmir issue on humanitarian grounds.

"I made an appeal to all the leaders that we should look at Kashmir from a humanitarian angle. We should not make it a prestige issue. Kashmiri people are suffering, people are getting killed. Kashmir has been converted into a jail. So, all the political parties, all the leaders of the country should rise above their political interests and come together and let us all join hands and find a solution to the complex Kashmir problem," added Mehbooba Mufti.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said that an all-party delegation would be visiting the State to assess the situation.

"We have already put the point. There were number of parties that said that it is not necessary. It is not needed. Now the all-party delegation will go. They will also meet people, they will see the situation and hence things will emerge," he said.

Reiterating that Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be partially withdrawn from the state, he asserted that the Central Government would take a call on it soon considering the ground realities.

"A lot of people told them that there is no need for the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). It should be implemented where it is necessary at the borders. A need for Army deployment was not felt over these years in the town and things. So, what is the necessity of it being there? In the areas where it is necessary let it be there but where it is not necessary let it be taken away. Government of India will look into it; it is not something, which will fall from the sky. They will look into the ground realities and then they will decide," Abdullah added.

On Monday, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had decided to hold an all-party meeting to deliberate upon the Kashmir situation and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The disputed region has witnessed a spate of violence over the past two months, forcing authorities to impose frequent curfew restrictions in several parts of the state. (ANI)

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