Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah on Thursday welcomed the joint statement issued by India and Saudi Arabia on extremism and terrorism is in line with their message against war.
In a joint press conference on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Pulwama attack on February 14. Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary TS Tirumurti had said that the Saudi crown prince had lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “consistent efforts” made by him since May 2014 to have friendly relations with Pakistan.
“In this context, both sides agreed on the need for creating of conditions necessary resumption of the comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan,” Tirumurti had said.
Mufti, the president of the Peoples Democratic Party, said amid the clamour for war, the India-Saudi joint statement on creating conditions conducive for talks between Pakistan and India is a welcome step. “The message for war mongers is loud and clear,” she said on Twitter. “Also, by promising investment in both nations, the Saudi Prince surely knows the art of keeping everyone happy.”
Abdullah claimed that he and others were called “anti-national” when they spoke against war but that a similar statement from the Centre is being viewed as the “height of nationalism”. The National Conference leader said dialogue is the only way forward.
“I am glad to see the Modi government acknowledge what some of us in Jammu and Kashmir have been saying all along – dialogue is the only way forward,” Abdullah tweeted. “India and Pakistan will have to work to create the right environment. When some of us say this we are called anti-national and Pakistani agents in various TV studios.”
On Wednesday, Mufti questioned the criticism for her statement against an armed confrontation between India and Pakistan. “Unable to understand the outrage over my statement,” Mufti had tweeted. “Anybody with half a brain would not 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.”