NC Welcomes Indo-Pak ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’



National Conference Thursday while welcoming the announcement of a ‘comprehensive bilateral dialogue’ process between India and Pakistan said it was equally important to simultaneously “address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir Issue by engaging with stakeholders” in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a party statement, NC Spokesperson said, “both New Delhi and Islamabad should endeavour to start a simultaneous process of sustained political engagement with all shades of opinion in Kashmir, including the Hurriyat leadership.”

“The announcement of a comprehensive dialogue between the two countries is a positive development. There is no alternative to dialogue and political engagement and the people of Jammu and Kashmir stand to benefit from peace and cordiality between India and Pakistan. People of Jammu and Kashmir are the worst sufferers from hostility between India and Pakistan and conversely can be the biggest beneficiaries of peace. We hope the comprehensive dialogue will start a process of structured engagement over the Kashmir Issue,” NC Spokesperson said.

“The Central Working Committee (CWC) of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference had recently passed a resolution in Srinagar calling upon New Delhi to address both the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir Issue. The resolution advocated efforts be undertaken to increase the level of confidence between the two countries in order to initiate a process to resolve all outstanding issues including the Kashmir Issue which has been a source of confrontation and hostility in the sub-continent. The resolution had unequivocally stated that any proposed resolution of the Kashmir Issue shall be to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. We reiterate this resolution and stand while welcoming the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue,” the NC statement said.

The NC Spokesperson said it was vital for both India and Pakistan to “politically engage with internal stakeholders on both sides of the Line of Control”. “The process of any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir Issue has to include various shades of opinion and leadership of political entities and fora on both sides of the Line of Control, representative as well as ideological. The exclusion of the primary stakeholders of the Kashmir Issue on a parallel track would render any such dialogue incomplete and incite a sense of political omission and marginalization within Kashmir. We strongly advocate New Delhi acknowledges the need to address both the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir Issue with equal emphasis. This is imperative for sustained peace in the region,” the NC Spokesperson added.

“We also hope the resumption of the Comprehensive Dialogue between India and Pakistan will lead to peace on the Line of Control and the International Border, giving a sense of relief and respite to people living in the frontier areas. It is also of equal importance to improve cross LoC process of travel and trade as an expression of confidence within Jammu and Kashmir. We hope India and Pakistan consider opening additional travel and trade routes to facilitate people-to-people contact across the Line of Control and also review the existing travel and trade arrangements with an intention to liberalize these processes further,” NC Spokesperson added.


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