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BJP refuses talks with Pak

A day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for dialogue with Pakistan to end the bloodshed in the state, the BJP today said talks were “not suitable at a time when the neighbouring country was supporting militant attacks”.

Without naming her, but certainly referring to Mehbooba Mufti’s speech in the Legislative Assembly yesterday on the concluding day of the Budget session, J&K BJP spokesperson Sunil Sethi told reporters here that “amid the sound of bullets and spilt blood, a certain section is advocating talks between Pakistan and India, which is not at all suitable at a time when Pakistan is openly supporting militant attacks in the state.”

He said the Centre takes a call on talks with Pakistan and there was no scope of interference by others.

Dialogue can be considered if Pakistan “pulls back” from supporting subversive acts in the region and the environment is conducive, he said.

Mufti yesterday said in the Assembly: “If Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti say hold talks with Pakistan, they are dubbed anti-national. There is no alternative except talks. If we don’t talk about it, who will? Not a Bihari, not a Punjabi.”

“Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option,” she later tweeted.

Referring to the militant attack on the Sunjuwan Army camp on Saturday which left 6 soldiers and a a civilian dead, Sethi said the three militants killed “belonged to Pakistan”.

The BJP leader also criticized National Conference legislator Mohammad Akbar Lone for “hailing Pakistan” in the Assembly, saying “he insulted the whole Muslim community”.

“This is an extremely serious matter, not only due to his anti-national utterance but also in view of an attempt to divide the population,” he said.

Sethi demanded that the Legislative Assembly Speaker refer the matter to the privilege committee “as this is clearly a matter of breach of privilege of the House”.

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