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Respond positively to Imran Khan’s offer of friendship, Mehbooba tells Centre

Mehbooba Mufti. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asked the Central government to respond positively to the friendship offer made by Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan.

“Pakistan is getting a new government, a new prime minister. He [Mr. Khan] has made an offer of friendship. I want to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond to the offer positively,” she said.

Ms. Mufti congratulated Mr. Khan on his victory in the Pakistan elections.

Alliance with BJP like ‘drinking cup of poison’

Claiming to have faced “immense pressure” during the two years of her alliance with the BJP, she said, “It [alliance with the BJP] was like drinking a cup of poison. I did not compromise. As many times I met the Prime Minister, I asked him to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat. I asked the Centre to release Hurriyat leaders from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody so that peace will prevail in Kashmir.”

Ms. Mufti was addressing the party’s foundation day in Srinagar. It was her first public appearance since the BJP pulled out of the alliance in June.

Referring to the death of civilians in a street agitation in 2016, she said she felt the pain of the pellet victims.

She said Article 35-A, which is up for a hearing before the Supreme Court in August, “is a challenge for all Kashmiri political parties”.

“All the parties should set aside differences and defend the Article the way we did in the past two years,” she added.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 11:01:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/respond-positively-to-imran-khans-offer-mehbooba-tells-centre/article24540306.ece

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