Sharif return would help peace process: Mufti

SRINAGAR: Welcoming the successful completion of general elections in Pakistan Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Sunday expressed hope that establishment of a stable and liberal government in that country would help pick up the threads of peace process once again.

In a statement he said a democratically elected stable government in Pakistan was a critical element in carrying forward the peace process and Jammu and Kashmir had the highest stake in its revival.

Complimenting the people of Pakistan for giving democracy a big boost by voting in large numbers in an atmosphere marred by threat of violence Mufti said it augured well not just for the interests of that country but could as well impact Indo Pakistan relations in a positive manner.

He said Sharif has been one of the architects of composite dialogue between the two neighbours and his return to power has raised hopes of an earnest and sincere follow up to the initial progress made on it.

Mufti said lack of progress on Kashmir resolution had partly been attributed to instability in Pakistan but with the arrival in office of a new government to be led by a known votary for good relations could transform the situation and the two countries need to capitalise on it. He said the decisions taken previously by the government on taking the travel and trade across LOC to the next level need to be implemented with a sense of urgency. “The decision to extend travel facilities to sections of people other than the divided families, opening up of Kargil Skardu road, increasing the frequency of bus services and providing banking and other logistical backup for LOC trade has been taken more than two years back and these need to be implemented,” said Mufti.

Referring to his recent meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh Mufti said he had got an impression that a successful conclusion of elections in Pakistan could facilitate revival of dialogue and implementation of J&K specific CBMs. He expressed the hope that Dr Singh and his new counterpart in Pakistan would respond positively to the sentiments of the people in the two parts of the erstwhile state and take measures for early resumption of composite dialogue with special focus on the problems of J&K resulting from hostility between the two countries.

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