Poonch/Jammu, June 23 (Scoop News)-People Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said any government that comes into power at the centre after next elections will have to address Kashmir problem and improvement in relations with Pakistan. Addressing an impressive public meeting here today he said things have started falling in place for rejuvenation of peace process with Pakistan with resolution of Kashmir as an important component of that.
Mufti said the shifting strategic factors in South Asia, economic compulsions and strengthening of democratic processes in Pakistan have started creating an atmosphere for resolution of long standing problems between the two neighbours. He said J&K would be the biggest beneficiary of the peace process that was started in 2003 but remained on back burner for many years now.
Pleading for giving a push to cross LOC relations through trade and travel, Mufti said the beginning made on this crucial front has laid down the ground rules for establishment of a Economic Free Zone across the LOC which would open up immense opportunities of employment. He said the government must provide infrastructure and banking support to trade and remove hassles in bus travel.
Pleading for opening more routes Mufti said ” Our vision is that any resident of erstwhile J&K should be able to visit any where without the slightest problems. LoC should become line of cooperation and not mere control. The propaganda that militants would sneak in through buses has been proved wrong like many other long held assumptions. Time for breaking barriers has come and it will happen”. He said decisions already taken on opening more routes and opening the facility to people beyond divided families should be implemented and scope of trade items expanded.
Reiterating resolve of his party to make Kashmir as bridge between two countries to restore lasting peace in this region, he said, “Though the entire population of the sub-continent has suffered due to the prolonged conflict and armed confrontation between the two neighbouring countries the brunt of such enmity has been borne by the hapless people of Jammu and Kashmir. The people living in the borders areas have in particular been the victims of brinkmanship, having been frequently uprooted from their hearths and homes”.
“The ceasefire has brought much relief to the people living in the border areas besides paving way for pursuing the dialogue process between the two countries. The peace process, despite frequent disruption and its slow pace, had brought hopes in the lives of millions of people in the two countries”, he said and reminded that gathering that the PDP had pioneered the process of peace and reconciliation.
Throwing light on party’s self-rule document, Mr Sayeed said the PDP’s vision had potential to address external and internal dimensions of the Kashmir problem.
“In our document, we have suggested making Jammu and Kashmir a free economic zone,” he said adding there was a proposal in SAARC to make South Asia a free economic zone on the pattern of European Union.
“Jammu and Kashmir should become a model among SAARC countries,” Sayeed said. “My only desire is to make Jammu and Kashmir an island of peace.”
” The Self-Rule document prepared by the PDP which suggests opening of all traditional routes to make Jammu and Kashmir a “economic free zone” will help speed up socio-economic growth of the state”, he said, adding that it will not only boost economy of the people of the region but also facilitate reunification of divided families.
Responding to the demands raised by the locals, PDP patron assured to set a Medical College at Poonch if his party voted to power. “During our regime we had formulated a comprehensive plan for the development of this region”, he said and listed various developmental projects which were started in Poonch during PDP-Congress regime.
Speaking on the occasion, national spokesman of PDP Dr Sameeer Koul regretted that coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah has failed on all fronts. He said that every section of the society was bearing brunt of the wrong policies being propagated by this regime. He cautioned the people against evil designs of this government and exhorted them to throw out this worst ever corrupt government.
Highlighting plights of the Kashmiri Pandit migrants, Dr Koul said that except promises nothing has been done so far. He mentioned plights of those migrant families living in Jagti township at Nagrota in Jammu.
Yashpal Sharma, MLC, Choudhary Zulfikar, Hamid Manhas, Shamim Ganai, Shamim Dar, Shah Mohammad Tantray, Zafar Manhas, Gurmeet Singh Raja, Tanveer Dar, Advocate Rayaz Choudhary, Taj Hussain Shah, Haji Ghulam Mohammad, Col Mohammad Majid, Amar Singh Josh, Advocate Tanveer, Sanjay Raina and others spoke on the occasion.
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