March 1998 News


Mufti for unconditional talks with militants

10th March 1998

SRINAGAR: Victorious Congress candidate from Anantnag parliamentary seat, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has reiterated his demand for unconditional talks with militants and other secessionist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir to solve the Kashmir issue. "If the centre can talk to rebels in Nagaland then why not with people who are alienated in this state," Mufti told PTI here soon after winning the Anantnag seat, reports PTI.

Referring to Hurriyat leaders, he said the Kashmir issue could not be solved without their participation. "The army can only contain militancy and not eradicate it", he said. Referring to the autonomy of Kashmir, he said that it was a national issue. Mufti defeated his nearest national conference rival Mohammad Yousuf Teng by a margin of 52,000 votes. Union minister of state for home Mohammad Maqbool Dar (Janata Dal), who finished poor third, forfeited his security deposits. Mufti, who contested from the state for the first time, said Congress should desist from forming a government at centre. "It is time the party sat in the opposition and strengthened its infrastructure", he said.


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