Stable Pakistan is in India's interest: J&K Governor

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Srinagar, Sep 13 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha today hoped that Pakistan would emerge out of the present crisis with democracy being restored, saying the political stability in that country was in the interest of India and the regional peace.

Interacting with defence attaches of various embassies, currently on a visit to Kashmir valley, the Governor said Pakistan was going through a period of acute political instability.

''It is a matter of grave concern for all the neighbours. It is in India's interest that Pakistan emerges from its crisis with stability with peace being restored there,'' he added.

Asked about the menace of terrorism engulfing the region, Gen Sinha said a sizable number of militants and 'Jehadis' were in camps across the Line of Control (LoC) and infiltration continue to occur.

''This has serious implications for India. After failing to annex Kashmir through three wars, Pakistan switched over to the proxy war under a well-planned strategy named Operation Topac launched by the then military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq,'' he added.

On normalisation process with Pakistan and confidence building measures, the Governor said the two countries have progressed well in this regard.

India has always endeavoured for maintaining cordial relations with its neighbours, he said, adding the people of Pakistan too have demonstrated perceptible desire for peace. ''This is reflected in people to people contacts. This process will help in resolving the differences,'' Gen Sinha noted.

On countering militancy and winning hearts and minds of the people in Kashmir, he said a three-pronged strategy -- intensifying operations against ultras, ensuring economic development and taking psychological initiatives -- were underway.

This mechanism has worked well in the North-East, the Governor said, adding Kashmiriyat, a concept of co-existence, tolerance and amity, holds key to peace in Kashmir.

''Unfortunately, this great heritage got trampled during the peak days of militancy in Kashmir, but now the people are asserting themselves which holds a hope for a better tomorrow,'' he added.

Gen Sinha said the situation in Kashmir was fast improving with a substantial decrease in the level of violence. Any assessment of the situation must also take into account the threat posed by the presence of militant infrastructure across the LoC, he added.

The Governor said a massive development programme has been launched and efforts were underway to provide a responsive administration to satiate the aspirations of the people.

UNI

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