Evolve national consensus to solve Kashmir problem: Mufti


Jammu : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Tuesday underlined the need to evolve a national consensus to solve the Kashmir problem “through democratic means”.

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Addressing a public gathering in Inshan, a mountainous area in Kishtwar district about 250 km from here, Mufti said dialogue was the only way to solve all problems peacefully.

“Political parties of the country, including the ruling UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and other opposition groups, have to realise that solution of Kashmir problem is must for the lasting peace in this region”, he said.

“It is the duty of all parties to lend support to any fresh initiative to solve this problem,” he said.

Mufti said internal dimension of the Kashmir problem would be solved by addressing aspirations of all regions and sub-regions.

He said there was also a need for the parties across the political spectrum to evolve a consensus on resolving internal dimension of the Kashmir problem.

Referring to the steps taken by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 during his visit to Kashmir, Mufti said: “It had come against a grim and potentially disastrous scenario as the two nuclear powers (India and Pakistan) were in an eyeball-to-eyeball position following the attack on the parliament.”

He highlighted the role played by his party in restoring peace in the region.

“Our party had convinced successive governments in Delhi to initiate some bold confidence building measures to restore lasting peace in this region,” Mufti said, adding that the opening of cross points on the Line of Control was an outcome of the party’s reconciliatory policies.