Peaceful solution to Kashmir issue possible now: Mufti

5 March 2009
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: The post-election scenario in Jammu and Kashmir has created an 'enabling' environment for the peaceful and amicable settlement of the Kashmir issue, President of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti said in Srinagar on Thursday. 'A new chapter for amicable resolution of the problem has been opened in Jammu and Kashmir that could pave the way for peace in the entire region,' Mehbooba said while speaking at the Pugwash Conference on 'Restarting Indo-Pak Peace Process' which commenced in Islamabad (Pakistan) on Thursday. According to a copy of her speech at the conference issued by the PDP in Srinagar, she said the new situation in the state was an opportunity as well as a challenge for India and Pakistan. 'A challenge far more serious than the one that violence had posed,' she said, adding that it seeks a response and an immediate answer to the question, what next? Mehbooba said the stage is set in Jammu and Kashmir for a resolution of its problems as never before. 'An Assembly has just been elected which reflects the aspirations and views of all the communities, regions and sub-regions of the state,' she said, adding that this institution is morally, politically and legally empowered to represent all stake-holders in a dialogue to find a lasting solution to the problem.