JK More Developed: Chaudhry

JK More Developed: Chaudhry

22 September 2011
Rising Kashmir
Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad: The former Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) premier Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, who visited Kashmir recently, said Jammu and Kashmir is more developed and similar measures should be implemented in PaK. Addressing a news conference on his return from his first visit to India, Chaudhry said he was impressed with what he saw in Jammu and Kashmir. 'The truth is there has been more development on that (Jammu and Kashmir) side. It is very beautiful and I visited a golf course and a trout fishing farm. I have seen those things and we should take steps to implement similar measures here,' he said. Though he had gone to Srinagar to attend the wedding of a friend's son, he said he had used the visit to hold talks with all sections of the leadership in Jammu and Kashmir including Hurriyat leaders and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. 'We don't recognise the Jammu and Kashmir government but Omar Abdullah is a leader amongst (them) all. I had a 45-minute meeting with the Chief Minister on the sidelines of the wedding,” he said. Omar had provided him a security protocol and this 'treatment shows that there can be progress', he said. Chaudhry said he had conveyed his position to Geelani during a recent meeting in Srinagar. 'Geelani has his views and wants Jammu and Kashmir to join Pakistan. I told him that status quo does not suit us. Things should start moving and rolling,' he said. He said he had stated his position after Geelani reiterated his stance that Pakistan should hold talks with India on issues like boosting trade only after the resolution of the Kashmir issue. “The leadership in both parts of Kashmir should make efforts to find a solution to the dragging Kashmir issue. We need an intra-Kashmir dialogue and we should include Kashmiris in the India-Pakistan talks,' the former PaK premier said. He called for more confidence-building measures and relaxation of regulations governing travel between the two parts of Kashmir. 'There are so many conditions for travel on the cross-LoC bus service. These restrictions should be ended or they should at least be relaxed as an interim measure. More steps should be taken to boost trade, including the formation of joint chamber of commerce,' he said. “A joint chamber of commerce could address the problems of traders on both sides and facilitate their movement across the Line of Control,” Chaudhry suggested.


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