Underscoring the need of warm and close ties between India and Pakistan for the betterment of people in Jammu and Kashmir, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday urged India to turn a new chapter in relations with Pakistan.
The party also expressed its concern on the border skirmishes between the two countries and out rightly condemned the killings of five Indian troops there (along the LoC) recently.
“The friendship hand extended by the democratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff should be accepted with warm hands by India. The two countries should bat for warm relations during their ensuing meeting at UN,” PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed told reporters here.
“There is a paradigm shift in the internal policy of Pakistan with regard to its relations with India. And the people of India have also invested in peace. War is not solution but it needs to be solved through dialogue,” he added.
Criticizing BJP for opposing the ensuing Indo-Pak Prime ministerial talks, Mufti said that voices of opposition are a t disservice to the historic initiatives taken by the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his tenure.
“The 2003 J&K visit by was historic in many perspectives. The Kargil war and the parliament attack in 2001 didn’t deter him (Vajpayee) from extending a friendship hand to people of Pakistan…it was followed by opening of the Muzzafarad road and Poonch-Rawalkote bus service,” said Mufti.
Now, he added some BJP leaders are opposing the talks between Nawaz Sharif and Dr Manmohan Singh at UN. “The present government in Pakistan is democratically elected and the friendship offer extended by Sharif is directly extended by people of Pakistan,” Mufti asserted.
While expressing concern over the continuous ceasefire violations along the border, the PDP Patron said, “Tensions along the border are problematic for people of J&K. We urge India and Pakistan to stop this and work for warm and better ties as J&K people are the worst sufferers of the hostility between the two countries.”
“The ongoing flare up along the LoC is detrimental for both the countries. Apart from the bloodshed, there are reports of dislocation of population in civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri,” Mufti added.
Turning to the leadership at Delhi, Mufti said that people of India have already invested in peace with Pakistan—so do have the people of Pakistan.
“PDP will mobilize public opinion in J&K regarding the importance of reconciliation and peace India needs have with Pakistan. We would reach out to Indian people in this regard as we suffer the most when the two countries fight it out—along the border or in the battlefield,” Mufti announced.
He said that political process and dialogue process are must for resolving the Kashmir issue. “Disturbance in J&K has been a permanent feature of Indo-Pak relations for the more than 60 years. It has affected the people of J&K badly,” Mufti said.