NC foresees revival of ''shattered'' Indo-Pak peace process

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Jammu, Oct 16 (UNI) Hopeful of revival of the ''shattered'' peace process between India and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah today said the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari would strengthen the bonds between the two countries.

''The measures, including opening of routes for cross-border trade, visit of delegations and many others will surely reinforce the links between the two countries and we are hopeful that the 'halted' dialogue process will be revived,'' Mr Abdullah told reporters at the sidelines of a public rally here.

''With relations getting stronger between India and Pakistan, we see a better tomorrow for Jammu and Kashmir and the entire nation as well and there are hopes that the talks will also resume,'' added Mr Abdullah.

However, expressing concern over the Assembly elections in the state, the NC president said that it is the Election Commission of India (ECI) who has to decide on the polls.

''The ECI should soon make an announcement on the Jammu and Kashmir elections. 'Yes' or 'no', the EC must finally decide,'' asserted Mr Abdullah added.

''The National Conference is ready for elections, no matter whether the EC announces the final dates now or later,'' he said.

The NC president, meanwhile, added that Baglihar Project is the NC's gift to the state, as it is an initiative and dream of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

''Dr Abdullah brought this mega project to the state and as it has started functioning, the state will be benefited from the Baglihar Hydel Project.

''Jammu and Kashmir is seeing a new ray of hope in the field of development and I feel that the power generated by the Baglihar Project, will appropriately be utilised in a better way,'' Mr Abdullah maintained.

The NC chief blamed the coalition partners, both the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for not properly making use of the hefty funds brought from the Union Government in the development of the state.

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