Kashmiri Youths PaK Return13 February 2010
Srinagar: Appealing New Delhi to take the issue of safe return of Kashmiri youth from Pakistan administered Kashmir with Islamabad in the coming foreign secretary level talks, CPI (M) State Secretary, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami Saturday welcomed the resumption of talks between the two nuclear neighbours and urged them to take bold initiatives for making this process purposeful. Addressing a press conference at Jammu on Saturday, Tarigami appreciated the proposal mooted by Government of India and the State government regarding the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri youth and said that this had attested the viewpoint of CPI (M), which projected it in the State legislature five years ago. “I had moved a resolution in the Legislative Assembly in its September 2005 session and again taken it for detailed discussion in 2006-07 Budget session. However, unfortunately it was not adopted. Had the resolution been adopted then, much progress would have been made for the return and rehabilitation of these youth,” he said. “I appeal all shades of political opinion in and outside the State to support this humanitarian issue and not use it for partisan interests.” Welcoming the resumption of talks between New Delhi and Islamabad, Tarigami said there was need to create a wider space for goodwill and mutual trust so that the level of hostility between the two nuclear powers is scaled down. “I urge both India and Pakistan leadership to give up rigidities and maximalist approach while negotiating on issues. They should ensure that peace process is not made hostage by vested interest and hawkish elements. I also urge the political leadership, civil society and media to be united to assert making this process sustainable and irreversible,” he said. Tarigami expressed concern on the Confidence Building Measures, which as per him have become marginalized and symbolic. “These should be rejuvenated and strengthened. Consolidating the CBMs could be helpful in creating cordial and favourable atmosphere for making talks meaningful at all levels,” he said. The communist leader said that cross-LoC trade started with much enthusiasm had been rendered to a mere barter system and suggested its expansion and providing banking and telecommunication facilities across LOC to make it viable and vibrant. He urged upon both countries to facilitate the opening of Sialkot, Askurdu and Suchitgrah links for trade and people-to-people contact and demanded simplifying the procedures for cross-LoC trade and people-to-people contact saying this should not be confined to divided families only. Tarigami reiterated that reduction of the “disproportionate size” of forces had become a prerequisite for creating an environment of trust in the State. “Time has come when Government of India must act firmly to take concrete steps for implementing the recommendations made by the working groups,” he said.