Mehbooba pitches for talks with Pak in Jammu
PTI, JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today pitched afresh for a dialogue between India and Pakistan to end the violence in the restive state, even as a gunfight raged between terrorists and security forces in Srinagar.
The chief minister also hit out at some media houses, which, she claimed, have created an atmosphere in which the very talk of talks was considered anti-national.
"If Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti say hold talks with Pakistan, they are dubbed anti-national. There is no alternative (to resolve the issue) except by holding talks," Mehbooba told the state Assembly in Jammu on the concluding day of the budget session.
"If we (the Kashmiris) don't talk about it (dialogue), who will? Not a Bihari, not a punjabi," she said.
"Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option," she later tweeted.
A CRPF constable was killed in a gunfight with terrorists in downtown Srinagar after security forces foiled militants' attempts to strike a CRPF camp. The mllitants were still holed up in an abandoned house in Karan Nagar in the heart of the city where intermittent firing was on.
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, meanwhile, has claimed responsibility for the attack on the CRPF camp. Its Kashmir chief Mehmood Shah claimed in an e-mailed statement that the attack was perpetrated by its activists.
The heavily-armed militants tried to strike the CRPF camp, located very close to SMHS Hospital from where Lashkar- e-Taiba militant Naveed Jutt alias Abu Hanzala was freed from police custody by terrorists on February 6.