On Tuesday, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti has termed the local militants as “sons of the soil” and the efforts should be taken to save them. She claims that the Centre should initiate dialogue with militant leadership in Jammu and Kashmir with the aim to end the “gun culture”.

After a party event in Anantnag, Mr. Mufti told the source that “right now, talks should be held with Pakistan and separatists. Similarly, the militant leadership should also be talked to, as it is they who have the guns and only they can end the gun culture.”

She further claims, “I believe at some stage, talks will have to be held with Hurriyat Conference and militants as well.”

However, the ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that it was too early to talk with militants.

Ms. Mufti said that the local militants should be protected from walking on the path of violence.

“Right from the time I came into politics in 1996, I have been saying that local militants are sons of the soil and our maximum efforts should be to save them because they are assets. If an encounter breaks out, the two people (militants and security forces) come face to face and no one can do anything about it then,” added Ms. Mufti.

On Monday, Ms. Mufti had questioned the timing of the filing of charge sheet in 2016 JNU agitation case, in which seven Kashmiris have been found guilty, saying the students were utilized to score political points before the Lok Sabha Elections.

In a series of tweets, Mehbooba Mufti said that “no surprises here. We are months away from the 2019 general election and like always, using Kashmiris to score extra political points with the Indian electorate has become somewhat of a prerequisite.”

She further said that the timing of the charge sheet could not be more suspicious. When UPA government was in power in the centre, it has decided to send Afzal Guru to gallows and now the state has to pay the price for it.

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