New Delhi, Aug 8 : With the curfew in Kashmir Valley extending into its 31st day and the death toll from the recent clashes rising to 55, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called on Prime Minister Narenndra Modi to reach out to the people of the state thorough dialogue, adding the process can make the state a bridge between India and Pakistan.
Mehbooba, who was in the national capital, met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh to discuss the soaring unrest in the Valley since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, which led to violence and massive demonstrations in the state.
"I spoke to Rajnath ji today and told him that the people of Kashmir are our very own and if there is an issue, a dialogue should be held, the way it was conducted during Vajpayee ji's time which won the hearts of many people.
We should revive that process," she told the media after the meeting. Asserting that she was sure Prime Minister Modi would take this opportunity to heal the wounds of Kashmiris and carry forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tradition of dialogue, Mehbooba said Kashmir can become a bridge between India and Pakistan.
"They are our people and if dialogue can solve the problems then our children can continue going to schools and Kashmir can become a bridge between India and Pakistan instead of a representation of conflict between the two nations," she said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the meeting, opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said Mehbooba has finally given up the "business as usual act".
"So @MehboobaMufti has finally given up on her 'business as usual' act and rushed to Delhi instead. The amazing thing is that it's taken 31 days and more than 50 deaths to finally 'disturb' the Chief Minister," Omar tweeted.
Earlier today, Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha urged the government to call an all-party meeting to discuss the Kashmir issue.
They also suggested sending an all-party delegation to Srinagar to take stock of the situation. Raising the issue in the Zero Hour, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed concern over curfew imposed in some parts of the Valley.
He said the curfew is continuing for the first time for such a long period. He said more than eight thousand people were injured in the violent incidents. Sitaram Yechury of the CPI (M) said everything is paralysed in the Valley and suggested that the use of pellet guns should be withdrawn.
D. Raja of CPI demanded withdrawal of armed forces and urged the government to initiate the political process.
JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav demanded a discussion on Kashmir issue in the House. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government is ready for the discussion and he will convey the feelings of the members to the Home Minister.
Responding to this, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said the government is ready for a discussion on Tuesday..