(Rpt with correction in para one)

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Srinagar, Oct 31 (UNI) Claiming that the peace process between India and Pakistan was still on, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron rpt patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said it had now entered into an irreversible phase and both the countries were committed to carry it forward.

''Even today the process is on between the two countries, albeit at a slow pace,'' he said, adding the slowdown of the Indo-Pak peace process was a temporary phase.

He said as soon as the internal situation stabilises in Pakistan, the reconciliation process would once again gather pace.

Addressing a day-long convention of the PDP workers in Anantnag in south Kashmir today, Mr Sayeed said the peace process, after overcoming the initial hiccups, has now entered into an irreversible phase and both the countries were committed to carry it forward.

He said the culmination of the peace process would result in the ultimate settlement of the Kashmir issue as has been envisioned by the PDP.

The PDP would continue to play a vital role in the reconciliation and resolution process, the foundations of which were laid after October 2002 elections, he added.

Mr Sayeed, patron of the PDP, a major coalition partner in the Congress led government in the state, said the upcoming elections to the state assembly would be a testing time for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, when they shall have to chalk out their future course of action.

He said the people of the state have now got politically emancipated and they know who is going to do justice with their mandate.

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