PDP welcomes Pak president's statement to start trade with J

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Srinagar, Sep 21 (UNI) Welcoming the statement of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to start trade between Jammu and Kashmir through Srinagar-Muzafferabad and Poonch-Rawlakote roads, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said free trade was the need of the hour.

Former minister and PDP leader Mohammad Dilawar Mir addressing party workers today urged India and Pakistan to restore the trade relation between the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest fulfilling the wishes of the people of the state who sacrificed a lot for the purpose.

Mr Mir, however, said free trade was the need of the hour and the government of India should overcome all the bureaucratic hurdles in enhancing free trade between the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

''Symbolic or cosmetic trade relation would not serve any purpose, and it should be wider and open for all without artificial barricades,'' Mir demanded and added that cross LoC confidence building could go a long way in addressing the alienation of the people and could bring in peace and stability in the region.

Mr Mir further said the government of India should take immediate measures to implement the recommendation of the Working Groups constituted by the Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh in letter and spirit to ease the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

He described the situation in Kashmir as fragile and said the implementations of the recommendations of the four Working Groups could bring change in the situation and help in restoring people's confidence in democratic institutions.

The PDP leader further said there is consensus and unanimity in continuation of the reconciliation policy as envisaged and adopted by the party.

He said the pledge was to preserve and protect the individuality and distinct identity through emotional link between the different parts of Jammu and Kashmir by conglomerating the erstwhile state under a single geo-political and socio-economic emblem under the broader framework of South Asian polity.

Speaking on the occasion, Senior leader and former minister Peer Muhammad Hussain expressed his deep concern over the harassment of youth in the area by the law-enforcing agencies.

UNI BAS SR NS1625

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