Pak must also respond positively to J

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Srinagar, Apr 28 (UNI) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has expressed the hope that Pakistan would respond positively to Jammu and Kashmir specific Confidence Building Measures (CBM) announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, she said, Dr Singh's latest assertion of opening cross- Line of Control (LoC) road links in Jammu and Kashmir for free movement of people and goods would be implemented.

''The PDP is optimistic that the leadership of the both the countries would make this long-cherished dream of the people of Jammu and Kashmir a reality,'' she said at a public meeting in central Kashmir today.

''We hope free movement of people and trade would constitute the core of the upcoming Indo-Pak composite dialogue process,'' she said and added that the people of Jammu and Kashmir expect positive response from the Pakistani leadership to such initiatives.

Ms Mufti said if Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline pass through the most volatile areas in the region, why all kinds of security concerns are raised when it comes to J&K-specific CBM.

''I think the political leadership of India and Pakistan must lead from the front to cut through the security syndrome created by the vested interests when it comes to resolution of the Kashmir issue through CBMs,'' she said.

Ms Mufti said the Prime Minister's reiteration to carry forward the confidence building process by taking more initiatives to strengthen the bonds between the people on both sides of the LoC, must get translated into reality to ensure peace and stability in the State and the region.

Blaming some politicians within the State for trying to play spoiler of the peace and reconciliation process, Ms Mufti said the role of the National Conference leadership is especially, intriguing, as the party is trying to raise passions in, Jammu region, over the CBMs by dubbing these anti-national, but take a U-turn at Bijbehara terming them as the agenda of the Government of India.

UNI BAS SLD GC1858

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