Kashmir resolution can’t be made hostage to Pak situation: Sayeed

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

Kashmir: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has called for earnestly reviving the slumped peace process to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir problem.

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“For a lasting solution to the state’s problems, the Government of India must undertake, with courage and wisdom, substantial political and economic measures that fulfill the reasonable aspirations of all regions of the state,” he said. He was addressing a public meeting in Marh, Jammu on January 20.

While conceding that the unfortunate developments in Pakistan have adversely affected the pace of normalization in the subcontinent and the consequent settlement of the problems between the two neighbours, Sayeed said the processes started off between the state and the Center should, however, not become hostage to the situation in Pakistan. While it is necessary that Pakistan remains on board for any lasting solution to tackle the external dimension of the problem, there are serious issues of constitutional, political and economic nature that need to be resolved between the state and the Center for amicable settlement of the issue.

He said the hope generated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s initiatives on Kashmir should not be allowed to perish for any reason. “Whatever can be done to address the internal dimensions of the problem must be done without delay to prevent another bout of cynicism and frustration among people,” he said.

Emphasizing that the follow up on the recommendations of the Working Groups constituted by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should be sped up, Sayeed pointed out that the recommendations contain very crucial elements to rebuild confidence between the state and the Center and put Kashmir firmly on the road to solving its political, economic and social problems.

He reiterated his demand that the withdrawal of special powers to the security forces and reduction in the strength of troops are unavoidable measures to provide the state a free space to assert itself and harness its full potential in intellectual and material fields.

Sayeed said the full potential of the State can be harnessed only through opening it up and empowering all the regions to benefit from the new market economy growing in the region. “The rich intellectual capital that the State has in the shape of thousands of trained professionals should be utilized to achieve a turnaround in living standards and making Jammu & Kashmir economically self-sufficient,” he said.

Other senior PDP leaders who spoke at the program included Sardar T S Bajwa, Ved Mahajan, Dhaman Bhasin, Chowdhary Nizam-ud-Din Khatana, and Dr Gafoor.