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The BJP on Sunday criticised National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah for advocating dialogue with Pakistan, saying "terror and talks cannot go together". J&K BJP spokesperson Brigadier (retd) Anil Gupta in a statement said Abdullah had time and again advocated talks with Pakistan as mandatory for the return of peace in the Valley "knowing fully well that it is not India but Pakistan that is avoiding talks". He was reacting to Abdullah's statement at a public meeting in Budgam district yesterday, suggesting India and Pakistan to initiate dialogue on outstanding issues, especially on that of Kashmir. "Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers and should acknowledge the fact that a nuclear war is out of question and hence, engagement and innovative conflict resolution is the only option. "Those advocating violence and war are living in a fool's paradise and their rhetoric is aimed at their own local constituencies. There is no other alternative but to talk and take into account the practical limitations of both sides," Abdullah had said. The BJP spokesperson said the Narendra Modi government had made it very clear that Pakistan must cease its support to cross-border terrorism and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on its soil to create a conducive environment for commencement of bilateral talks to resolve all outstanding issues. Gupta said the NC leader needed to know that a window existed even in a nuclear environment.
Kargil War and surgical strikes in 2016 exemplified the same, he stressed. "Pakistan is using terror as a low-cost option to bleed India since it considers India as an existential threat and aims at India's balkanisation to counter her growing might. "There is no indication of any change in Pakistan's intent despite India's best efforts to normalise the relations," he said. Gupta said it was surprising that a person like Abdullah failed to "recognise the reality or is feigning ignorance in order to play to the gallery since he is a master of theatrics". "Pakistan has to give up terrorism as an option against India and its mindset has to change from 'settlement first' to 'peace first' for any engagement between the two neighbours. The ball is wholly and squarely in Pakistan's court," the BJP leader said. "Rather than batting for Pakistan and creating further confusion and dilemma in the mind of the youth, Kashmiri politicians have to accept the reality that their future is safe and secure only with democratic India and they have to learn to live with a hostile Pakistan as a neighbour," he said.