Address internal, external dimensions of Kashmir issue: PDP

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Srinagar, Sep 7 (UNI) In a major jolt to the holding of general assembly elections before the end of Governor's rule, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the government to address the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir issue before going for the polls.

In a resolution adopted at a specially convened meeting of the party leaders here today, the PDP pointed out that before embarking on any electoral adventure, the Government must reclaim the public confidence, not by rhetoric, but through substantive measures addressing the internal and the external dimensions of the Kashmir issue by involving all shades of Kashmiri opinion in the process.

The PDP wanred that pushing Jammu and Kashmir into elections could prove counter-productive in a situation where the people are forced into a deep feeling of alienation, disillusionment, hopelessness and aloofness.

"While on the internal front the government must, in a time bound manner, implement the recommendations of the Prime Minister's Working Groups including rehabilitation of all the victims of violence, revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and reduction of troops.

On the bilateral front with Pakistan, the cross-LoC routes including Srinagar-Muzafarabad, Poonch-Rawalakote, Kargil-Skardu and Suchetgarh-Sialkote roads must be immediately opened for free movement of goods and people." The geographical isolation that Kashmir valley was forced into because of the recent economic blockade has only reiterated the urgency of throwing open all the traditional routes to and from it, the Party said.

The resolution made it clear that before initiating any electoral process in the State, the Government must address the just concerns and aspirations of the people in a responsive and responsible manner and put in place concrete Confidence Building Measures (CBM) aimed at repairing their damaged psyche, salvaging their bruised dignity, rekindling hope in their hearts and motivating them to mould their as well as the State's destiny through a consequential democratic process.

It further said the Government shall essentially have to revert back to the 'Healing Touch' policy pioneered by the PDP that had brought about changes of great significance and substance to the State and the region.

"Besides enhancing in great measure the people's sense of freedom by liberating them from the mentality of siege and oppression, PDP's healing touch policy had brought about significant changes on the political front as well," the resolution stated.

It claimed that because of the healing touch policy that the environment of hostility and confrontation in the State and the region was replaced by a movement for reconciliation and peace, a ceasefire along the borders was put in place to the great relief of the people living there and opening of cross-LoC routes was seen as a historic moment of political wisdom.

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