PDP wants Pakistani consulate, SAARC university in Srinagar
25 January 2006
The Daily Times
New Delhi: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the establishment of a Pakistani consulate and a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) university in Srinagar. The coalition partner in the Congress-led government in Jammu and Kashmir made the demand in a press conference following a meeting of its executive committee on Wednesday. In a resolution, the party also demanded that trade between the two countries be allowed through the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes. “The opening of these two routes for trade will enhance the business potential in the state,” the resolution said. Addressing the press conference, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said that a Pakistani consulate in Jammu and Kashmir would make travel to the Pakistani part of Kashmir convenient for locals, as it currently takes months to get clearance before a travel permit is issued. She also proposed a SAARC university in Srinagar to “further promote peace in the region”. Mufti said that people should be allowed to move through the five crossing points set up along the Line of Control (LoC) without hassle. The PDP resolution demanded the establishment of a fruit market in the Uri area to facilitate the movement of export goods. It also said that branches of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank should be opened in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. The resolution also demanded that work on Mughal Road be expedited so that Jammu’s Muslim-dominated areas of Poonch and Rajouri are linked with the Kashmir Valley. Mufti said that the opposition National Conference’s slogan of ‘greater autonomy’ was an arrangement between New Delhi and the National Conference, while the self-rule proposal involved India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.