JAMMU, Apr 29: Reiterating that dialogue is the only mean to solve all vexed problems, patron of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that India and Pakistan should take the peace and reconciliation process to its logical end for restoring lasting and sustainable peace in this region.
Addressing public meetings at Simbal Camp in R S Pura and Dogra Hall in Jammu city today Mr Sayeed said that situation in Pakistan has changed and that country was also giving encouraging response to the dialogue and reconciliation process “it was high time for taking some bold steps to solve all bilateral issues including Kashmir,” he added.
“Atmosphere is conducive for initiating some concrete steps for resolution of this problem”, he argued and said that it was also desire of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to solve the Kashmir problem. He, however, emphasized the need to evolve consensus on Kashmir “because peaceful relations between India and Pakistan were in the interests of the people of both the countries”.
While pointing towards some bold initiatives taken to ease trade on Wagha border, he said that Indo-Pak dialogue was again on the track and it needed to be translated into action from both sides. He said that foundation for restoring peace between India and Pakistan was laid when the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had extended hands of friendship towards Pakistan on April 18, 2003.
Highlighting the historical role played by the PDP in normalizing relations between India and Pakistan, he said that opening of cross LoC routes was the biggest ever Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between the two countries.
Taking a dig at ruling National Conference, Mr Sayeed said for decades together NC leadership had exploited people on the name of opening Uri-Muzaffrabad road. “In the name of opening traditional routes, NC has only exploited sentiments of the people. Except for securing votes by raking up emotions of the people, NC has done nothing in this regard”, he observed.
He said that PDP was committed to restore old glory of Kashmir when this region was a biggest trade centre. “In its Self-Rule proposal, PDP has promised to make Jammu and Kashmir a free economic zone to get maximum investment by opening the traditional trade routes”, he said.
Responding to the demands raised by the local people at Simbal camp, Mufti said problems of refugees from Muzafarabad, Poonch and Haveli would be discussed when even any meeting for the resolution of Kashmir problems was held. He assured that PDP would incorporate this issue in its agenda. “Problems of these refugees would be part of negotiation on Kashmir”, he assured and demanded one time settlement of the issue of these refugees.
Speaking in the meeting at Dogra Hall, former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig regretted that Safai Karmacharies who were brought to State in 1957 have been struggling to get basic rights. He said the then Government had promised to give these poor people all constitutional rights but it was unfortunate that they were still struggling to get basic rights. He assured the gathering that PDP would take up their issues vociferously because their problem was human.
Senior PDP leader including Rangil Singh, Trilok Singh Bajwa, Th Balbir Singh, Choudhary Zulfikar, (MLA), Hussain Ali Bafa, Jagjeet Singh Jagga, Chatter Singh Saini, Falail Singh and Avtar Singh Khalsa also spoke on the occasion.