If talks with Taliban, why not with Hurriyat, ask ex-CMs Omar Abdullah & Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday questioned New Delhi’s reluctance to initiate dialogue with separatists in J&K when Army Chief General Bipin Rawat could advocate holding talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said if the Army Chief could suggest talks with the Taliban “then why different standards when it comes to our own people?” “Accept peace offer from Pakistan, initiate dialogue with Hurriyat and other stakeholders to put an end to the vicious cycle of violence in J&K,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the Army Chief had said there should be negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan where the Islamist group is battling the US and government forces for nearly two decades.

The National Conference vice-president also voiced his concern and questioned the unwillingness of the Centre at launching political initiatives in the state. “We bat for talks with Taliban, autonomy for Tibet and Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, yet we are unwilling to look at engagement or political initiatives in J&K,” Omar said.

Omar said: “Why is our policy all about ‘do as we say, don’t do as we do’? Engagement for Taliban, Operation All-Out for Kashmir.” (TNS)