Reducing Trust Deficit Can Help Resolve Kashmir Dispute: PDP3 December 2011
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti has said that reducing trust deficit between the people of Kashmir and rest of India can be an important step towards settling the vexed issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Settling Disputes for a Common Cause in New Delhi on Saturday, Mufti said that India needs to reform its politics in the same manner as it reformed its economy in the past. Urging the centre to accept Kashmir as a problem, Mufti said that policies for Kashmir should not be framed just with strategic concerns in mind, rather it should be framed keeping in mind values of democracy, freedom, rights etc. In Mufti's opinion, concern for views of people of Kashmir, resolution of dispute between India and Pakistan, making peace irreversible and reopening the silk route can help the peace process. Speaking on the same topic, President of Awami National Party in Pakistan Asfandyar Wali Khan said that change in stated positions of political parties is required to move in the direction of settling the Kashmir dispute. Khan further said that strong political will and courage is needed for this purpose. He emphasized on the need of fighting fundamentalism, extremism and forces that spread hatred in the region. Dr. Farooq Abdullah, minister of new and renewable energy, said realising and accepting the present reality can be an important step towards resolving the Kashmir dispute. Abdullah said that Kashmir became part of India by its own will as they accepted Gandhi's India where all Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs had equal right to vote. Abdullah said that Pakistan needs to accept the reality that the part of Kashmir in the Indian side cannot be taken back like we Indians have to accept that PoK can't be brought back. He also said that peace and non-violence can only come in the region if the present reality is accepted. Abdullah also stressed on finding solution to bilateral disputes that is acceptable to majority of Kashmiris and Pakistanis. Asking people who want peace to work towards it, Abdullah said 'enough blood has been shed and let us think of better days for India and Pakistan'.