March 2008 News

Defining Moment Has Come For Amicable Settlement Of Kashmir Issue: Mufti

7 March 2008
Associated Press of Pakistan

New Delhi: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, former Chief Minister of occupied Kashmir said a defining moment has come for amicable settlement of Kashmir dispute. Mufti, who is also patron of Peoples Democratic Party (PDF) a coalition partner of Kashmir government said time has come to focus on the resolution of the problem by adding “substance to the peace process through substantial confidence building measures.” A spokesman of PDP said Mufti Sayeed held on Thursday extensive deliberations with several central leaders including former Prime Ministers I.K. Gujral and V.P. Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil, The Tribune reported. According to a PDP spokesman, during his meetings Mufti said the fast-changing situation in and around occupied Kashmir provided Indian leadership a great opportunity to make India more at peace not only with its neighbours, but also with itself. “The emerging encouraging scenario offers a momentous opening for conceiving an exceptional grand strategy for the country and the region in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Mufti said Indo-Pak peace process had provided a strong foundation to build upon and “it can be further fortified by reconciling the past misgivings and leaving for future generations a different prosperous world.” The people of trouble -torn Kashmir, who suffered greatly due to Indo-Pak hostility, could gain now from the friendly and cooperative relationship between the neighbourly countries. “I visualise a space of dignity, opportunity and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the paradigm of friendship and cooperative relationship between India and Pakistan,” Mufti said. Noting that the peace process had already created a notable impact, he said it has brought into focus the convergence of our interests rather than the hackneyed rivalries. During his meetings with the central leaders, he said “alongside cross-LoC confidence building measures, the Government of India must pep up the intra-state confidence building process starting with thinning the strength of troops deployed on internal security duties in Jammu and Kashmir.” He demanded that special powers given to the security forces must also be revoked completely. During the meetings, he also discussed in detail the post-elections situation in Pakistan and its impact on the situation in occupied Kashmir, the daily added.

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