Indo-Pak Peace process must move ahead with fresh resolve, Mufti

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Srinagar, Mar 25 (UNI) Expressing the hope that ''positive'' political situation in Pakistan will help to find a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed today said he now sees a promise in the environment for the people of the state.

Meanwhile, he demanded employment and economic package, troops cut and repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the interest of the state's peace and stability.

Welcoming the formation of a new government in Pakistan, Mr Sayeed said the stabilisation of the democratic and political institutions in the neighbouring country has rejuvenated the hope for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue.

''With the political situation evolving positively in Pakistan, I see hope in the air and promise in the environment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,'' the former Chief Minister said at a public meeting in south Kashmir today.

While felicitating the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sayeed Yousuf Raza Geelani on assuming office as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he expressed the hope that the new government would ardently pursue the peace process with India to permanently end the six decades of hostilities, violence and economic deprivation in the region.

He said the PDP President Ms Mehbooba Mufti, who is visiting Pakistan from March 28, would carry to the new Government and the people the message of goodwill from the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

''I foresee effective prospects of peace, dignity and prosperity for Jammu and Kashmir in a refreshing environment of Indo-Pak friendship and cooperation,'' he said, adding the people of state have been the worst sufferers of the region's hostilities and both the countries must now jointly work towards shaping up a new peaceful and prosperous future for the region.

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