Srinagar: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday said the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir have a right to call for election boycott but it is for the electorate to decide what is good for them.
"Dissent is the essence of democracy and separatists have a right to dissent. They have a right to call for a boycott (of polls), but people have to think what is right for them," Sayeed said at a function organised here to welcome a former employees` leader into the party fold.
Sayeed said there is a need to engage separatists in a meaningful dialogue to address the Kashmir-issue and not to put them in jails.
"Democracy is a battle of ideas. We have to fight the separatists politically and engage them in a meaningful dialogue to find a solution to the Kashmir-issue, instead of putting them behind bars," he said adding, "times have changed and battles are not won by swords."
Solution to the Kashmir-issue lies within the four walls of the Constitution, said the former Chief Minister.
"Whatever we would like to achieve, we will have to achieve it under the ambit of Constitution. Whatever we have to solve, we will have to solve it democratically," Sayeed said.
Kashmir is the biggest issue in the sub-continent and his party will play a positive role to create an environment for its amicable solution, he said.
"PDP is the only force, which thinks positively and only it can pull out the state from the prevailing situation of uncertainty," Sayeed said.
Former Employees` Joint Action Committee (EJAC) president Khurshid Alam joined the PDP with his supporters at Sayeed`s residence.