Mufti Hails Modi's Initiative To Reach Out To Sharif

14 February 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Appreciating the initiative of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to reach out his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif and resumption of Foreign Secretary level talks, PDP patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said this is gigantic step to set a new agenda for reconciliation and resolution between the two countries. In a statement, he said the SAARC formatting of the initiative was a very constructive approach which could augur well for realizing the economic potential of the South Asian region. Mufti said the initiatives taken by the Prime Minister on his swearing in by inviting the SAARC leaders including Sharif had set the right tone for India's leadership role in the region but the calling off the Secretary level talks soon after, had blunted its potential. 'The resumption of talks and the Prime Minister's telephonic conversation with Sharif have come as a major intervention to revive the stalled peace process between our country and Pakistan,' he said. The PDP patron said friendship between India and Pakistan is of prime importance for releasing the creative energies from decades long atmosphere of hostility of which Jammu and Kashmir has been the main victim. Mufti said Jammu and Kashmir has borne the brunt of wars, militancy and a destabilized political situation as a result of the conflict between the two countries, and it is a good omen that Prime Minister has taken up the bold initiative at a crucial stage of the State's history. 'Economic progress in Jammu and Kashmir can generate a political dividend and emotional satisfaction only in an atmosphere of peace which can be anchored in the overall framework of India- Pakistan amity,' he added. Mufti said he and his party have always placed great trust in the potentialities of SAARC not just on economic front, but he look up to it as prospective boon for a strategically located State like ours which, unfortunately, has remained a bone of contention and continues to suffer from absence of a stable and peaceful atmosphere. He said violence along borders since last year has resulted in casualties and it causes pain whether the victims are from our Defence forces, or civilians on both sides of it. He expressed the hope that the new initiative by the Prime Minister would lead to sustained and uninterruptable dialogue with Pakistan which would realize peace and stability in the region. 'Such a peaceful atmosphere would allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to reap fully the benefits of democratic system in which they have repeatedly invested their faith without adequate response so far in terms of solving their problems,' said Mufti.