NATIONAL

Ceasefire a start: Mehbooba

Lending support:J&K Chief Minister Mehooba Mufti with PDP supporters in Srinagar on Sunday.NISSAR AHMAD  

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the “Ramzan ceasefire” was the beginning of engagement with all stakeholders, and asked the Hurriyat for “a positive response.”

“With this [ceasefire] we have made a beginning. Now the onus lies on all other political parties to contribute positively towards this peace project. I appeal to Hurriyat to step forward and start talking if they want to save Kashmir from this morass,” said Ms. Mufti at the Peoples Democratic Party’s convention in Srinagar.

Describing Kashmir “as a political problem,” Ms. Mufti said, “The solution to the problem cannot be achieved through military means. Only a peaceful engagement can usher in peace, reconciliation and resolution of issues. The whole country looks up to the leadership in Kashmir to rise to the occasion and take benefit of the opportunity offered by this historic decision of the Centre”.

On the spate of grenade attacks, she said, “Gun or grenade attacks achieve nothing. Despite the unilateral ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far-flung areas for their bread and butter, what will this achieve?”

She promised to open up more historic routes of Kashmir to the outside world if “peace is maintained here.”

Referring to fresh ceasefire violations on the International Border in Jammu, the Chief Minister said Indo-Pak friendship was in the best interests of the State.

“Even the arch rivals North Korea and South Korea are now meeting to sort out issues, why can’t we?” she added.