Omar, Mufti welcome India-Saudi joint statement on talks with Pak

SRINAGAR: Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah Thursday said their stand on holding dialogue with Pakistan has been vindicated by the India-Saudi joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with oil-rich kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

"Amid the din & clamour for war, India-Saudi joint statement on creating conditions conducive for talks btw (between) Pak & India is a welcome step. Message for war mongers is loud & clear. Also, by promising investment in both nations, MBS surely knows the art of keeping everyone happy," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Mehbooba said she failed to understand the outrage over her statement cautioning against any armed confrontation between India and Pakistan.

"Unable to understand the outrage over my statement today. Anybody with half a brain wouldn't 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," she said.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said he was glad to see that Modi government has acknowledged that dialogue was the only way forward.

"I'm glad to see the Modi government acknowledge what some of us in J&K have been saying all along - dialogue is the only way forward & for that India & Pakistan will have to work to create the right environment," he wrote on his Twitter handle.

He said the India-Saudi joint statement talked about "creating conditions for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan".

"When some of us say this we are called anti-national & Pakistani agents in various TV studios.

"When Govt of India acknowledges the need to create suitable conditions for dialogue & that too in a statement with a 3rd country this is suddenly the height of patriotism & nationalism," he added.

The talks between the prime minister and the Saudi Crown Prince came days after the February 14 attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that claimed lives of 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

The crown prince lauded Modi for the "consistent efforts" made by him since May 2014, including the prime minister's personal initiatives, to have friendly relations with Pakistan. "In this context, both sides agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan," T S Tirumurti, Secretary (ER) in Ministry of External Affairs said Wednesday.

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PTI