JK legislators push for ‘goodwill visit’ to Pakistan


Srinagar, Jan 11: Close on the heels of Hurriyat (M) visit to Pakistan, the two houses of the J&K legislature have approached Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to get requisite permission for their  members to undertake a visit to the neighboring country for “promoting goodwill.”
Speaker of Legislative Assembly Muhammad Akbar Lone and Chairman of Legislative Council Amrit Malhotra have written a letter to the CM to get the formalities cleared for the trip. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Muhammad Akbar Lone said both the Houses have jointly proposed to visit Pakistan for “promoting goodwill and peace” between the two countries.
“We have submitted to CM that a goodwill delegation comprising me, Chairman of LC, deputies of both the Houses and five legislators to be nominated by CM should be allowed to undertake the visit to Pakistan,” Lone said.
Lone said they have submitted the proposal for obtaining permission from Pakistan High Commission and the visit, if matures, would be just a goodwill trip aimed at bridging the differences between the countries.
The plea comes two weeks after Hurriyat (M) delegation led by its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met all shades of political opinion including leaders of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and opposition Pakistan Muslim League (N).
It is pertinent to mention here that the bonhomie between mainstream politicians and Pakistan nearly ceased with end of President Parvez Musharraf’s rule. During Musharraf’s tenure, then NC Chief Omar Abdullah, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and even State Congress and BJP leaders travelled to Pakistan to attend Pugwash Conference. In 2008, Mehbooba even addressed a joint press conference with Asif Ali Zardari there.
However, the doors were shut for Kashmir’s mainstream politicians in 2009. That year, Mehbooba was denied visa to attend the Twelfth Conference on Sustainable Development.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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