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Mufti for SAARC free trade regime on experimental basis

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, May 14 : Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today hoped that business via Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road will become an experiment for launching SAARC free trade regime, saying such steps were imperative for achieving economic self-reliance and lasting peace in the state.

He also urged militants to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue by declaring a ceasefire and asked the ultras to play a positive role in ongoing negotiations to make the peace process a success.

Addressing a public rally at Magam in Badgam district as part of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) statewide celebrations to highlight the benefits and significance of cross-border trade, Mr Sayeed thanked the UPA government as well as the previous NDA regime for liberal financial assistance to the state in terms of re-construction plan.

This attitude helped in bringing the change at the grassroot level in the form of balanced development of all the three regions of the state, he said and urged India and Pakistan to take more bold initiatives in respect of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Sayeed, who is the PDP chief patron, also hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's help in building a nationwide consensus on 'any solution' by taking along all shades of political opinion.

He called for respecting aspirations of the people of different regions of Jammu and Kashmir as it would further strengthen the state's unique character and constitutional status.

India has shown tremendous flexibility on the Kashmir issue and it was necessary to consolidate that initiative by mobilising public opinion, Mr Sayeed said, adding the PDP will continue to play a pioneering role in facilitating its peaceful resolution and never shirk from making any sacrifice.

He reiterated that the PDP-Congress alliance was value-based and the coalition parties were governed by a Common Minimum Programme devised in consonance with the state and central leadership.


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