There is no alternative to talks with Pakistan: Mehbooba

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New Delhi, Dec 12: BJP's alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir PDP today said that India cannot escape from its duty of holding talks with Pakistan at a time when the world is facing threats from terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

"India has to join hands with countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and even Bangladesh if we want to keep terror groups off our shores," PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said at the 'Aaj Tak Agenda' here.

No alternative to talks with Pak

She was replying to a question whether the PDP leadership felt embarrassed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the November 7 rally in Srinagar that he does not require anyone's advice on Kashmir. "...people learn gradually through experience.

As you know, Jammu and Kashmir is not like any other state. India's relations with Pakistan have direct impact on us. When we talk about Pakistan, we are not speaking out of context," she said. She said there is no alternative to talks with Pakistan.

"You can avoid it or delay it but ultimately you have do what you have to do like what Sushma (Swaraj) Ji did by going there because we have to fight the menace like ISIS, al-Qaeda.

"Modi ji ko zarurat hai ya nahi but humhe zarurat hai Pakistan se baat karne ki (whether Modi ji needs it or not but we need dialogue with Pakistan) because my state suffers directly due to bad relations with Pakistan," she said.

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"At the end, it's people of Jammu and Kashmir who die in cross-border firing. Onions may keep on coming from Wagah border (in Punjab) but people in Jammu and Kashmir will suffer," the PDP president said.

"Why do we shy away from talks with Pakistan on Kashmir," she asked. "Instead of delaying it or avoiding it, we should pull the bull by its horns. As former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said we cannot change our neighbours, we should strive to bridge the gap and build bridges of peace." "We know that you require two hands to clap and I think the bigger hand (India) should offer to clap more often," she said.

PTI

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