Reacting to Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s remark to dialogue with Afghanistan, and international curbs on regular and social media to counter “radicalisation”, two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah questioned the army chief about his remarks.
Taking to a micro-blogging site, Mehbooba Mufti wrote: “If the Army Chief can advocate for talks with Taliban then why different standards when it comes to our own people? Accept peace offer from Pakistan, initiate dialogue with Hurriyat and other stakeholders put an end to the vicious cycle of violence in J&K.”
“We bat for talks with taliban, autonomy for Tibet & Tamil areas of Sri Lanka yet we are unwilling to look at engagement or political initiatives in J&K. Why is our policy all about “do as we say, don’t do as we do”? Engagement for Taliban, Operation All-Out for Kashmir,” Omar as a reaction to the remark said.
The army chief was speaking at Raisina Dialogue 2019, a multilateral conference on international policy matters in Delhi. During his address, Rawat said any dialogue with the Taliban should involve no conditions. Any concessions, he added, would give the other side the notion that they were talking from a position of strength and victory.