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India Must Talk To Pakistan To "End Bloodshed", Says Mehbooba Mufti

After two terror attacks in two days in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called for a dialogue with Pakistan, saying there was no other option to stop the "bloodshed" in the state. The Chief Minister also too a dig at the media, saying she would be "labelled anti-national" by some, but added that war was not an option. India has repeatedly warned Pakistan that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand.

"If we don't talk about talks with Pakistan, then who will? People from Bihar won't!" Ms Mufti said at a function today. India, she said, has fought and won all wars against Pakistan. "But even now, there is no solution other than dialogue. Till when will our jawans and civilians keep dying?" added the Chief Minister, whose People's Democratic Party is ruling the state in alliance with the BJP.

The Chief Minister's fresh pitch for renewal of talks came on the heels of one of the deadliest terror attacks in the state at the Sunjuwan army camp, in which five army personnel and a civilian died yesterday. Another suicide attack on a CRPF camp in the heart of Srinagar was repulsed this morning.

In the state assembly, she later said she would be attacked by some media houses for her stance. "Wonder what some media houses would have called Atal-ji (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) if he took bus to Lahore in today's time and talked of a dialogue"

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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.
- Mehbooba Mufti
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The ties between the two nations hit a fresh low last year with the regular ceasefire violations, cross-border terror attacks and the death sentence for Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have kept up the engagement on an official level. The last meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua took place in Bangkok in December. India said the talks were focused on cross-border terrorism and that Pakistan was told that "talks and terror can't go hand in hand".

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