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Manmohan-Musharraf meet to begin new chapter

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Sep 12: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today expressed optimism about the outcome of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at Havana, saying both the leaders would begin a new chapter leaving behind the bitter legacies of recent past.

''I hope that the two visionary leaders will never allow this opportunity to go waste and take courageous steps to bring peace and composite dialogue process back on rails,'' he said in a statement.

Mr Sayeed, who is also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron, said the people of the sub-continent had pinned their hopes on the two leaders. ''I am sure they would not be dismayed,'' he added.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are worst-hit as they had to pay an enormous price with their blood and lives for continuing India-Pakistan conflict.

''I am sure the two leaders will not allow the vested interests to disrupt the dialogue and peace process and act with determination on their resolve to carry ahead the mission of peace and prosperity for the region,'' Mr Sayeed added.

He said for the people of Jammu and Kashmir peace was not a choice, but a necessity, a question of life and death for them.

The PDP leader called for complete cessation of hostilities within the state to pave the way for peace and normalcy in tune with the yearning of people who have been suffering the miseries of turmoil and strife all these years.

There should be free flow of ideas, goods and services across the Line of Control (LoC) to work out the ultimate peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, he added.

To push ahead the peace process, Mr Sayeed suggested various Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), including improved communication links across the LoC, resumption of air links, opening of more trans-LoC transit points, frequent and hassle-free movement of people and goods and cross exchange of tourists, pilgrims, students and faculties of universities.


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