Madhav meets Mehbooba amid valley tension

SRINAGAR, APR 30: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that her government would first restore normalcy in the Valley before initiating talks with the separatists.
She made the comments during her meeting with BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav here today.
“In a period of two-three months, you will see a changed Jammu and Kashmir. Next few months are really crucial for us.
“We will first restore the normalcy, than we will talk. This issue is as old as 70 years,” Mufti said.
She also said that the Centre must reach out to the disillusioned youth to restore peace. “We must start from where Vajpayee ji left… Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow the footsteps of Vajpayee ji, whose policy was of reconciliation, not confrontation,” she said.
Madhav on Saturday slammed the separatists for using Kashmiri youth as “guinea pigs” during protests. He said there won’t be talks with separatists till they stop violence.
After the 30-minute meeting at her Fairview residence in Gupkar area this afternoon, the BJP leader refused to speak to waiting media persons.
The meeting comes in the wake of the deteriorating law and order situation in the Valley and reports of a rift between the coalition partners over statements by Madhav and Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga.
Ganga had stoked a controversy by calling for use of bullets on protesters in the valley. He later expressed regret.
The PDP was also unhappy with Madhav’s comments complimenting an army officer who had tied a man to the bonnet of a jeep to escape stone-pelting in a Kashmir village.
Besides this, the PDP’s defeat in the Legislative Council elections at the hands of the BJP has also led to friction between the two parties. (With agency inputs)