Manmohan-Musharraf meet offers golden opportunity
Srinagar, Sep 10: PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti today said the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of NAM summit at Havana offers a golden opportunity to reactivate and strengthen the stalled peace process and take it to its logical conclusion.
Addressing a public meeting at Vilgam in border district of Kupwara, Ms Mufti reiterated the inevitability of carrying forward the peace process in the larger interest of the people of the sub-continent in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular.
''The people are eagerly looking forward for a positive outcome of Manmohan-Musharraf meet as it offers a golden opportunity to break the deadlock triggered by some recent unfortunate incidents,'' she said, adding that the peace process has the overwhelming public endorsement and needs to move forward.
The PDP President hailed the Prime Minister's resolve to push forward the peace process and said the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), including greater people-to-people contact, have helped reduce tensions phenomenally, promoting prospects of sustainable peace in the region.
''The process needs to be further strengthened, sustained and taken to the logical conclusion culminating with the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem,'' she added.
Ms Mufti said within the state too, the ideas on the solution of the Kashmir issue were witnessing a welcome shift from preconditions and preconceived formulations to a more pragmatic quest for an honourable and implementable settlement.
Welcoming Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran's statement that New Delhi favours increased connectivity with its neighbours to render borders irrelevant, she said the PDP has right from the beginning stressed the need for carrying forward the CBMs to enable greater, hassle-free and productive interaction between the people across the Line of Control (LoC).
The PDP Chief said while maintaining a consistent policy on the necessity for political resolution of the Kashmir issue, the PDP accords highest priority to economic rejuvenation of the state in proportion to the immense potential it has in light of the medieval business hub in South Asia.
She reiterated her party's stand for establishing a free-trade zone for Jammu and Kashmir and increasing accessibility to Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu regions by air, rail and road and opening up of all the traditional routes along the LoC and the international border for free movement of people and goods.