The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, Saturday welcomed the decision of the Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister.
In a statement, she said the occasion would introduce a lot of positivity into the relations of the two neighboring countries. “Unfortunately, Kashmir has been the worst victim of the hostilities between the two,” she said.
Mehbooba said while Modi’s initiative of inviting all SAARC leaders was a welcome new step, the focus of attention remained as to how the Pakistan PM would respond to the invite. “Nawaz Sharif by accepting the invitation with grace and showing respect to Modi’s initiatives has introduced an element of much needed positivity to the Modi’s stint as the PM of the country,” she added.
Mehbooba said the breaking of ice on Indo-Pak front has always been the centerpiece of South Asian regional co-operation under the SAARC. She said the flip-flop relations between the two countries, unfortunately, have restricted the potential of co-operation between South Asian countries, which are all trying to fight poverty and very depressing human development indices.
Referring to the stalled peace process initiated by the former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she said the new beginning should lead to progress on resolution of Kashmir and other issues and the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) along the Line-of-Control (LoC) need to be carried further.
Mehbooba said there was a need for a sustained dialogue which should not get interrupted by the events as has been case in the past. She expressed the hope that the two PMs would be able to carry the public opinion in their countries and respond positively to the need for a dignified and lasting peace in the Sub-continent. Mehbooba said for the people of Jammu & Kashmir that would be the biggest gift of the new PM and it could work as a major CBM for developing a more inclusive agenda for his government.