‘Pakistan situation can’t impede Kashmir initiatives’


Jammu : The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a ruling coalition partner, Sunday said situation in Pakistan should not hold back the internal initiatives for solving the Kashmir issue.

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Former chief minister and patron of PDP Mufti Mohammad Sayeed asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to allow the situation in Pakistan to impede the initiatives on Kashmir.

The Mufti has cautioned the Indian leadership against using Pakistan situation as an excuse not to address internal dimensions of Kashmir.

Reminding the prime minister of the imperatives of the internal situation, the Mufti after a lull of four months revived the campaign for reducing the number of troops in Kashmir. He chose a public meeting in the border town of Marh, about 20 km from the winter capital city of Jammu, to reiterate his points.

Conceding that the developments in Pakistan have affected resolution of problems between the two countries, the Mufti said the processes started off between the state and the centre should, however, not become hostage to the situation in Pakistan and need to be taken to their logical conclusion.

“One process can’t be held hostage by another,” he said, adding while it is necessary that Pakistan was 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 centre.

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

Mufti Sayeed said one of the working groups, established by the prime minister, has specifically recommended scrapping of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“It is time that these recommendations are implemented in letter and spirit,” he said and cautioned that any delay could once again infuse despair and frustration among the people.