Revival of cross-LoC trade a momentous beginning: Mufti

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Srinagar, Oct 18 (UNI) Describing the upcoming opening of Srinagar- Muzzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote roads for trade as a historic moment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the divide, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said the event would mark a new beginning for the people of the State.

Addressing PDP workers from Homshalibugh (Anantnag) here today, Mr Sayeed said the Kashmir resolution agenda envisioned by his party has started transforming into reality and the opening of the cross-LoC routes for trade would mark a momentous beginning in that direction.

He, however, stressed the need for making the hassle-free movement of people and goods a reality, along all the traditional cross-LoC routes in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to realise the real economic and intellectual enterprise of the State and its people that had remained confined after the partition of the sub-continent.

Hailing the formation of a joint chamber of commerce between the two parts of the State to coordinate in trade-related issue, Mr Sayeed said a similar arrangement could be made to have a broad-based joint consultative mechanism of legislators from various parts of the State as has already been proposed by the PDP.

He said such a joint council could deliberate on the issues of coordination in other sectors, including education, tourism, culture, environment and harnessing of natural resources.

Mr Sayeed said the decision of the trading community from the two parts of the state to press for the use of dual currency to facilitate cross-LoC trade is a significant move, for which PDP had earlier drawn flak from various quarters, both within and outside the State.

''A hue and cry was raised, when we first piloted the idea of the use of dual currency in the state,'' he said and added that the party's vision and agenda has now been vindicated with the latest positive developments on the cross-LoC front.

Paying glowing tributes to all those who made huge sacrifices right from April 7, 2004, when the first Muzzaffarabad Chalo march was organised by PDP, and those killed during the recent agitation, Mr Sayeed said the sacrifices of the people have started bearing fruit. He said day is not far away when peace, dignity and prosperity would descend on, not only the people of Jammu and Kashmir, but the whole region as well.

Mr Sayeed said people of Jammu and Kashmir have been the worst sufferers of the partition and the time has now come to give not only peace but a world full of opportunity to our new generation.

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