Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that India should hold talks with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, PTI reported.

“We are talking to China, which has occupied our land...Hold talks with Pakistan again and open the Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot trade routes again,” Mufti said at an event in Srinagar to mark the 22nd foundation day of the party.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said that the ceasefire along the Line of Control agreed upon by India and Pakistan was a result of dialogue between the two countries. “Then what’s wrong when Mehbooba Mufti says hold talks with Pakistan for resolving the issue and ending the bloodshed [in Kashmir]?” she said.

In February, India and Pakistan had reached a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control after discussions between the director generals of military operations of the two countries. The declaration reaffirms the commitment of both the countries made during the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

However, there have been multiple incidents of ceasefire violations along the border since the beginning of July.

Mufti also reiterated her demand for restoration of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged the people of Kashmir Valley to fight for it, The Hindu reported.

“When India can achieve freedom from the British after 70 years, when the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] can snatch Jammu and Kashmir’s special status after 70 years, why can’t we keep fighting for our rights,” she asked.

The Centre had abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019, and split it into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Curfews and internet blockades were imposed in the region after that and several Kashmiri leaders, including Mufti, were put under house arrest.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday once again assured restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir. However, replying to a question on the matter in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai did not specify any timeframe for the decision.

“Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted at an appropriate time after normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” Rai said.