Mufti criticises Advani's Kashmir remarks
25 December 2006
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Monday criticised senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani for accusing the Manmohan Singh government of compromising on Kashmir and called for support to the India-Pakistan peace process.'Don't play politics with the peace process for electoral gains,' Mufti said in a statement issued here.He was reacting to Advani's remarks at the BJP's national council in Lucknow Sunday that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was 'planning a surrender' on Jammu and Kashmir.Sayeed said that it was former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of BJP who had initiated the peace process along with then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharief in February 1999.The deadlock in bilateral ties had ended ushering a new era of peace after Vajpayee gave a 'much-needed fillip' to the India-Pakistan relations by extending a hand of friendship in April 2003, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron said.'The subsequent positive response it evoked among the people and the establishments on both sides gave the process legitimacy and strength to move forward,' he said.During the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime the process gained substantial ground and the Congress, in opposition then, had fully supported all major initiatives and confidence building measures (CBMs), he said.'I'm expecting a similar positive response from the BJP leadership to any move by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh aimed at continuing and consolidating the process,' Sayeed said.