Start talks now, include Pak: Farooq
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday urged the Centre to immediately begin talks with all stakeholders including Pakistan for peace in Kashmir, without waiting for the situation to improve.
"Talk now. You have to talk now and talk to stakeholders and talk to everyone," he told reporters here. He said Pakistan had to be brought on board, too. "Even if you are bitter with Pakistan, you have to talk to Pakistan. You have to bring them on board," he said.
The former chief minister, who won the recent bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, said the government should not wait for a "conducive atmosphere" before starting the dialogue.
"If the government really wants to talk so that peace is established, then they should not wait for the last stone to be hurled or the last bullet to be fired," he added. India, he stressed, stood for the rights of the people. Denying those rights would create "further wounds and alienation" among the people of Kashmir. "We are digging the grave of democracy if we do not talk," he warned, and called for "respecting" the Indian Constitution.