Lok Sabha Elections: Talks With Pak, Hurriyat Remain Key Poll Plank  

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SRINAGAR — Notwithstanding little influence the regional parties have on pushing New Delhi to hold dialogue with Islamabad and Hurriyat Conference, talks and friendly ties with Pakistan remain the poll blank for the regional parties in Kashmir.

The main regional payers—National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party kick started the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections and the poll plank remained the same as has been in the past.

Campaigning in favour of party’s candidate and former employees leader Abdul Qayoom Wani,  former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday claimed that PDP did not ally with NDA government at centre and had it been so the party’s senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh would have been a minister like Omar Abdullah, the National Conference vice president, during the NDA-led by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004.

Addressing workers at Baramulla, Mehbooba also claimed that PDP sacrificed in allying with BJP for “resolution of Kashmir and for talks with Hurriyat Conference”. “We tried our level best. We sacrificed party. We sacrificed ourselves. The only aim behind it was that there should be talks with Pakistan. There should be talks with Hurriyat Conference. Unfortunately it was not understood here,” Mehbooba said.

The talks with Pakistan or Hurriyat Conference did not happen as long as the PDP-BJP alliance lasted.

In fact, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally on November 7, 2015, in spite of repeated references by then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who spoke ahead of him during the rally here, skipped any talk of friendship with Pakistan and dialogue with Hurriyat Conference, saying he doesn’t need advice from anyone in the world on Kashmir.

“We did not form coalition with NDA at centre and had it been so Baig Sahib (Muzaffar Hussain Baig) would have been a minister similarly as Omar sahib (Omar Abdullah) was minister in NDA led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.” Later talking to reporters, Mehbooba also rejected Omar Abdullah’s claim that NIA was brought to J&K by the PDP, saying the Indian investigation agency was brought during alliance of National Conference and the Congress in 2009.

Far from Baramulla and conscious of his constituency in Kashmir, National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah addressed a rally Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) and called for good relations with neighbouring countries, saying this alone could ensure development and prosperity of both the countries.

“If we are friendly with our neighbour and if the neighbour is friendly with us, both will progress and if we live in enmity, the progress of both will come to a halt,” said Farooq

“They are saying today they attacked Pakistan. They don’t say any other thing. They think people are fools and will believe them. We Indians want to strengthen India and at the same time we want to see our neighbours remain strong and terrorism is eliminated,” he said.

He reminded BJP of the statement of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that friends can be changed, but neighbours can never be changed.

“Today I want to tell this to BJP leaders who think they are strengthening the country. Country will strengthen when Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians get strengthened, when they are able to live life of dignity and when their children have jobs,” he said.


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