India, Pakistan must include Kashmir in dialogue: Omar, Mehbooba

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asked India and Pakistan to widen the scope of dialogue and address the Kashmir issue.

“War is no solution. All issues can be resolved through dialogue. India and Pakistani leadership must move beyond the secret talks and join the table for an open dialogue,” Mr. Abdullah said at a function in Pulwama.

Mr. Abdullah said the betterment of J&K “only rides on the Indo-Pak bonhomie”. “The positive shift in the relations augurs well for long-lasting peace and prosperity in the entire region. The engagement vindicates the long-standing stand of the NC on the inevitability of dialogue.”

He said our repeated pleas for dialogue and peacemaking were unfortunately made a point of ridicule by the ruling party. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to his Pakistani counterpart is a step in the right direction. I hope that the step further helps in building an environment of trust,” he said.

Referring to the August 5, 2019 measures, Mr. Abdullah said, “The promised flood of investment, development, infra-upgradation is nowhere visible on the ground. Contrary to it the entire region has been put on the path of terminal alienation and dismemberment. The government has lost its plot.”

Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the PDP, headed by Ms. Mufti, also urged India and Pakistan “to go beyond rhetoric, deepen the process of dialogue and broaden the scope of political engagement keeping J&K front and centre of the process to make it result oriented and sustainable”.

“We demand early resumption of cross-LoC trade, opening up of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Poonch-Rawalakot, Kargil –Skardu and Jammu-Sialkot roads,” the PDP spokesman said.

The PAC condemned the central agencies’ attempt “to coerce and muzzle PDP president Mehbooba Mufti”. It also rejected the charges levelled against party youth president Waheed ur Rehman Parra, termed his detention “as part of political witch-hunt” and demanded his immediate release. (Agency)

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