Srinagar, Sep 29: Expressing concern over the "alarming situation" along LoC, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah today made an appeal to India and Pakistan to uphold the ceasefire agreed upon in 2003 and work together to de-escalate the situation for peace, stability and cooperation in the region.
"We hope cooler heads will prevail and the ceasefire of 2003 will be upheld. Our thoughts are with the people living along the LoC and the International Border as it is them who suffer the most in times of such escalation," he said.
Both India and Pakistan, he said, should exercise restraint and open all channels of communications to de-escalate the situation along the LoC and the International Border.
"Confrontation and hostility between New Delhi and Islamabad have not yielded favourable results for either country in the past. All outstanding issues and concerns should be discussed with sincerity and the overarching common goal of achieving peace, stability and cooperation in the region," he said.
The former chief minister said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered the most because of "hostility and confrontation" between India and Pakistan. "This is precisely why we reiterate that there is no alternative to a cooperation and peaceful engagement between the two neighbours.
All outstanding issues should be resolved peacefully and effectively," Abdullah said. The National Conference leader said New Delhi and Islamabad should work together to ensure an immediate and effective ceasefire.
Mutual declarations of peace and cooperation should be used as building blocks for a new bilateral diplomatic process, he added.
"Be it the Lahore Declaration, the Agra Summit or numerous bilateral engagements ever since, including the recent Joint Statement issued by the External Affairs Ministers of India and Pakistan in 2015- both New Delhi and Islamabad have expressed their commitment towards the mutual goals of peaceful co-existence and cooperation.
It is this spirit of responsibility that should encourage and inspire both governments towards sustained efforts aimed at ensuring peace," he added.