Kashmir can’t be solved in one go: Mufti

SUHAIL AJMAL

Bandipora, Nov 20: Stating that Jammu and Kashmir cannot be solved in one go, Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayed Tuesday said that it is an evolutionary process and dialogue is the only way to solve this issue peacefully.
Addressing a public gathering in Bandipora town, Mufti said, “Jammu and Kashmir problem can’t be solved in one go. It is an evolutionary process and the solution of this problem lies in dialogue.”
“The resolution and reconciliation process received a set back during last several years. Instead of taking the process forward, it was stopped where PDP left it during its tenure,” Mufti said. He said lack of follow-up at the state level was one of the reasons for slowing down of the process. “Instead of building up on the initiatives of 2003-2005, the present government is only raising slogans as they see the electoral mood building up. Instead of working for removing the hassles in LoC trade and making travel across it easier, the present government had picked up reunification of the erstwhile state and opening of Jammu-Sialkote road as election-time sloganeering,” he said.
Sayed said his party changed the fate of the people after coming to power in 2002 and earned credibility through its visionary policies.
He said the highest achievement of PDP was that it united India and Pakistan.
“Foundation for restoring peace between India and Pakistan was laid when the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee extended hand of friendship to Pakistan on April 18, 2003, from Srinagar,” Mufti said.
Highlighting the historic role played by PDP in normalizing relations between India and Pakistani, Sayed said that opening of cross-LoC routes was the biggest ever Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between the two countries. “It was after the efforts of the PDP that Indo-Pak dialogue process started in an effective manner.”
Mufti said that PDP’s idea of change is not just about changing government but it means holistic change including the resolution of Kashmir conflict through democratic means, economic revival and establishment of institutions which could ultimately empower the people to take their own decisions.
Mufti said the reopening of traditional routes had special significance for areas like Bandipora which were important centers of trade with Central Asia before partition. He said reopening of roads like Bandipora-Gilgit could usher cultural and economic prosperity among the people who have been pushed into a dead end following the partition.
He said Bandipora with its immense natural assets could genuinely claim a place on the tourist map of the world but unsettled conditions and lack of interest by the successive NC governments in development of infrastructure has relegated such prime spots to oblivion.
Highlighting the achievements of PDP government, Mufti said that it was during the three-year tenure of his party when many prestigious projects were started. “These include four-laning of highway, railway double-laning and train to valley, opening of 60 Degree Colleges in various parts of state, four universities, empowerment of LAHDC, monthly pension to old-aged widows and handicapped was provided at their door step. Besides, 60,000 ReTs and 16000 Anganwari workers were appointed in a transparent manner. Now NC is taking credit for all these projects instead of consolidating these,” he said.
Referring to the developmental initiatives taken during the previous PDP-Congress coalition in Bandipora, Mufti said granting of district status to Bandipora, opening up of a college, up-gradation of district hospital and many schools had taken care of long standing demands of the people here.
He said it was his government that established the Mansbal-Wullar Tourism Development Authority under which various works were carried out at Mansbal, Garoora, Athwatoo and Watlab to provide decent facilities for tourists. These works, however, could not measure up to the actual potential of the area and it needed a master plan for tourism development in the area which would include Gurez Valley as well, he said.
Mufti strongly condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza which resulted in huge casualties of helpless people including children and damage to hard gained infrastructure. The PDP patron urged Prime Minister to use his office to push for an end to Israeli aggression. “India being the largest democracy in the world should take a lead in brokering peace in the Middle East by mobilizing the world opinion in prevailing upon Israel to stop its aggression on the helpless Palestinians.”
Speaking on the occasion, senior PDP leader and MLA Bandipora Nizamudin Bhat said the peace process initiated by the government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayed was “an irreversible process and roadmap laid by PDP party is the only way to establish sustainable peace in the sub-continent.”

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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