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A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asked India to share "actionable intelligence" on the Pulwama terror attack, PDP leader and former Jammu Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that the proof of Pakistani links to the Pulwama attack should be given to Islamabad as sought by its Prime Minister Imran Khan "to see what they do".
Speaking to the media in Kashmir, Mehbooba said: "It is true that whether it was Pathankot attack or Mumbai attack they (Pakistan) were given proof but they did not take action. But because Imran Khan is a new PM and he is talking about a new start, he should be given a chance. We should give proof and see what they do."
In a video message to his nation on Tuesday, Khan had assured India that he would act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama terror attack if New Delhi shares "actionable intelligence", but warned against any "revenge" retaliatory action.
Hitting out at the government's move to withdraw the security of separatist leaders, Mehbooba called it a 'childish act'.
"This is a childish act. The government should find a solution to this problem. Withdrawing the security of four people is no big deal and that too which they had not asked for. The government had given them the security and has now itself taken it away," she added.
The Jammu and Kashmir government withdrew security of separatist leaders, including All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on February 17 in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. Other leaders whose security has been withdrawn include Shabir Shah, Abdul Ghani Bhat and Bilal Lone.
Moreover, the PDP leader also claimed that Pakistan itself has many problems and in such a situation a dialogue between the two countries will be beneficial for both sides. While saying that talks will be good for Pakistan, she emphasised: "It will be good for Pakistan's prosperity."
"Pakistan itself has a lot of problems, in such a situation if both the nations reconcile and discuss things it will be beneficial for both sides. I believe that we can have a dialogue even after a war. If we have to save Jammu and Kashmir and its people then dialogue is the only way. War is not a solution to any problem," the PDP leader added.
While underlining that only 'illiterate people talk of wars', Mehbooba said, "In these times only illiterate people can talk about the war. Both countries are nuclear powers and when they have the option of dialogue, I don't think the question of war arises."
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 20, 2019
Elaborating further she said if Pakistan is influencing the youth of Kashmir it is unfortunate and is a reflection of our failure.
"It is unfortunate if we say that the neighbouring country is able to enter our country and indoctrinate our youth. It is possible that there may have been some shortcoming on our part, our previous government's part. There has to be a reason as to why our youth gets influenced by those people. It is possible that they don't feel a part of us," Mufti added.
On the issue of Article 370 of the Constitution, she asserted: "If that is removed then no one in Kashmir will have a reason to hold the Indian tricolour."
Substantiating her stance she recalled the conditions of alliance with the BJP in Kashmir. She claimed that it was decided that the government will hold talks with the separatists and with Pakistan.
"Our agenda of alliance with the BJP was very clear that they will initiate talks with Pakistan and the separatists in Kashmir like Vajpayee did. This is no secret. I don't know why are they so surprised today," she said.
Later, after some backlash over her statement regarding war, Mehbooba in a tweet said that she is "unable to understand the outrage" over her statement and said those TV anchors "yelling for war" should join "our troops at the border".
Unable to understand the outrage over my statement today.Anybody with half a brain wouldnt advocate war especially between two countries that are nuclear powers. All the tv anchors yelling for war, I suggest you pack your bags and join our troops at the borders.
Nearly 40 CRPF personnel were killed in an attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama on February 14.
(With inputs from agencies)