Dialogue must for lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti

JAMMU: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the resolution of the Kashmir issue was imperative for lasting peace and development and renewed her demand for dialogue with “internal stakeholders” and Pakistan.

“Peace has to be restored on the border. The daily rush to Kashmir graveyards has to end. The bloodshed has to stop and for all this resolution of Kashmir issue is essential,” Mehbooba said while addressing party workers in the border district of Poonch.

She claimed the “iron fist policy” of the Union government is bound to prove counterproductive. “There is no alternative to the (PDP founder) Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s vision of peace with dignity and the agenda of PDP is more relevant today than ever,” she said, advocating dialogue with Pakistan and “internal stakeholders especially youths”.

Mehbooba alleged that “democratic space has been squeezed” in J-K. She termed August 5, 2019 as the “darkest day in Indian history” and said it will not be an easy task to get the special status of Jammu and Kashmir restored.

“The struggle is tough and full of challenges and I am ready to face any consequences for my resolve,” she said while urging the leaders to strengthen the party at the grassroots to enable it to fight the “long and tough battle”.

She expressing gratitude to the party workers across Jammu and Kashmir who have stood firm with her. “Our leaders continue to languish behind bars,” she said and alleged that pressure was being put on PDP supporters to leave the party.