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Do not pick and choose between Kashmiri separatists, says Mufti

By Mukhtar Ahmad
October 09, 2009 18:30 IST
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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday urged the Centre 'to make its dialogue process with Kashmiri separatist groups all inconclusive and not to resort to a pick and choose policy.'

Addressing senior functionaries of his Peoples Democratic Party after launching the membership drive in the winter capital of Jammu, Mufti cautioned against 'ignoring any leader or group in the dialogue process' and said, "There should not be a pick and choose policy while initiating dialogue with separatists."

"The government of India should come out with a positive attitude to initiate dialogue process with Pakistan and separatists groups of Kashmir. And to make the talks result oriented, it was imperative to involve all groups and factions," Mufti said.

Stressing on the need of evolving consensus on the self-rule proposal, Mufti said that his party's proposal was the 'realistic and practical solution to address both external and internal dimensions of the vexed Kashmir issue.'

Mufti said that there was 'need to evolve a consensus on this issue both at national and state level to aggressively pursue this agenda aimed at restoring lasting and sustainable peace in this region.'

"Through our self-rule proposal we have been demanding more powers for the state and if our state would become economically self-reliant, all regions and sub-regions would be equally benefited", he observed while reiterating demand of re-negotiating water agreements with the Central agencies.

He said according to the self-rule proposal the Sadar-e-Reyast must be elected and should necessarily belong to the state.

"The proposal suggests that Article 356 of the Constitution under which the state governments are dismissed should not be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir," Mufti added.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar