Indo-Pak peace process almost ''halted'': Farooq

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Jammu, Feb 27 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has claimed that the peace process between India and Pakistan has slowed down and it would be difficult for India to resume it again.

Speaking at a function here yesterday, the National Conference patron reacted to the statement of President Pratibha Patil that ''when conditions permit India will resume its dialogue process with Pakistan, aimed at building mutual confidence and resolving outstanding issues, premised on an atmosphere free from terror and violence.'' ''UPA Government has lost the opportunity to restore peace process when the neighbouring country was headed by President Pervez Musharraf,'' Dr Abdullah told newspersons adding that the peace process had almost ''halted'' and lost its ''momentum''.

''It will not be an easy task for both the countries now to restore the peace process,'' he said.

Meanwhile, the former Chief Minister, who is also a Member of Parliament, challenged Railway Minister Lalu Prasad for taking the rail link to Kashmir by 2009.

''This is a very crucial year for Jammu and Kashmir as elections are drawing nearer and such statements are just 'sugar quoted pills' to befool the people,''Dr Abdullah said asserting that during the NDA regime, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also claimed that the rail link to Kashmir valley would complete by end of 2007 but till date, the rail link failed to connect Katra town with rest of country.

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