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Jammu, Nov 12 (UNI) Assuring the people of finding solution to the Kashmir imbroglio after coming to power in the state, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said Jammu and Kashmir was the only medium which could bridge the existing gap between India and Pakistan and bring peace and harmony back in the region.

'' The PDP in its three-year tenure brought a drastic change in the state through its visionary policies for restoring lasting peace,'' Mr Mufti said while addressing a public gathering here.

After two-month long Amarnath agitation, it was his first public speech.

Praising the party's ideologies, he said it was a privilege for the party when UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in a letter, communicated to Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, asked to follow the policies set by the PDP for restoring normalcy in the state.

''After 2002 assembly elections, the Congress opted the PDP to form the coalition government that had only 16 MLAs rather than going for the National Conference, which was the mainstream party in the Opposition,'' Mr Mufti said.

The PDP patron asserted that his party was a responsible party and had credibility, which made the Congress to come forward and form the coalition government with it.

'' During the regime of the PDP, dignity and honour of the people were restored as notorious STF was disbanded and strict laws like POTA were abolished,'' Mr Mufti said.

He said the PDP had emerged as a strong political force in Jammu and Kashmir with pro-people policies.

The PDP patron, meanwhile, reiterated party's commitment of removing regional disparities; explained components of 'Self Rule' drafted with a commitment to make institutional arrangement to create equal opportunities in development for uplift of all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

'' Hassle-free trade and travel across the divided regions, abolition of the Article 356 and declaring state as free economic zone are the main issues to be addressed by the PDP through its ideology,'' he said.

Mr Mufti said it was only the PDP that convinced both India and Pakistan to enter into Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to accelerate the peace process and asked the people meanwhile, to cast their vote in favour of his party for peace and the welfare of all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

UNI VBH GT RK1716

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