Initiate dialogue with Kashmiris irrespective of unrest: Congress to Mufti

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 (ANI): Taking an absolute opposite stand from that of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's view of initiating dialogue only after the restoration of peace in the Valley, the Congress on Tuesday stressed that talks with Kashmiris should begin irrespective of the condition in the state.

Congress leader and senior lawyer KTS Tulsi said irrespective of all the highs and lows that keep coming, one should maintain a steady course, adding that the policy adopted by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a good one.

"Talks happen all the time. Talks with the Kashmiris should be uninterrupted, uninterruptable. Talks with Pakistan should uninterrupted, uninterruptable. Highs, lows keep happening but we have to maintain a steady course and the police of carrot and stick that was adopted by Atal Bihar Vajpayee was a good policy and it did give results. You don't get results instantly. You have to consistently adopt the approach of conciliation," Tulsi told ANI.

Tulsi further urged that the government should talk to Kashmiri brothers and sisters and do everything to convince them that whatever is being done in the Valley is for their welfare.

Another Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed condemned the terrorists' attack on People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Gani Dar which led to his death, hoping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-PDP Government to provide justice in the same.

"It is very unfortunate. Violence has no place in society. It is a crime to kill anybody. We hope that the BJP-PDP Government will bring the guilty to book," Ahmed told ANI.

Hours after urging the Centre to follow the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in dealing with the Kashmir unrest, Mehbooba Mufti yesterday stated that a dialogue process would be initiated only after normalcy was restored.

The Chief Minister after meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that within two-three months the situation in the Valley would definitely improve.

"In a period of two-three months, you will see a changed Jammu and Kashmir. Next few months are really crucial for us. We will first restore the normalcy, than we will talk. This issue is as old as 70 years," Mufti said.

Mufit further appealed to the media to help in restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We will also hold talks regarding the Whatsapp groups," Mufti stated.

Earlier yesterday, Mufti asserted that the ruling dispensation at the Centre must follow the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and reach out to the disillusioned and angry youth so as to restore a peaceful atmosphere for governance.

Talking to the media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mehbooba said a conducive atmosphere was required for talks and governance.

"We must start from where Vajpayee ji left... Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow the footsteps of Vajpayee ji, whose policy was of reconciliation, not confrontation. There is no option but to talk," she asserted.

The Chief Minister also said that she discussed the recent by-polls to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, which witnessed large-scale violence and the lowest turnout ever.

"I discussed the issue of less voting percentage in the recent elections and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Modi," she said.

The meeting came in the wake of recent incidents of violence, including the clashes between security forces and civilians during the Srinagar by-elections.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier on Sunday urged all the Chief Ministers to take care of the students from Jammu and Kashmir in their respective states.

His assertion came after Mehbooba raised the issue following assault of six Kashmiri students of Mewar University in Rajasthan by some locals.

The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of several video clips surfacing in recent times, purportedly showing human rights abuses by the security forces. (ANI)