Former chief minister and Peoples' Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad has said that the solution of Kashmir problem is on the cards.
He said that Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's four-point formula has provided the basis for the resolution of the issue.
"The Government of India has some reservations on some points of Pakistan President's formula. The discussions are on and a common ground will be struck by the two countries soon," he told a rally in north Kashmir's Bandipora town on Monday.
The rally was a part of PDP's mass contact campaign. Around 8000 people had come to give audience to Mufti. Former finance minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig and senior leader Nizamuddin Bhat also addressed the rally.
"The peace process is irreversible because it has begun on the understanding of the ground situation by both India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Leadership of both the countries has felt that they cannot go on with the problem permanently. A solution is a must. There were some unrealistic elements, who made us (people of Kashmir) suffer. Good sense has finally prevailed," he said amid thunderous applause from the audience.
The PDP patron said that he got just three years as chief minister and had to depend on others for support. "But despite this we did a lot of things. We took some concrete steps for peace, development and the resolution of the Kashmir issue," he claimed. Mufti was all praise for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistn President general Musharaf for "they addressed the concerns of Kashmiri people when we raised them".
Mufti dismissed the notion that a mass contact programme had anything to do with the assembly elections. "Some people misconstrue our public contact programme as an election campaign. It is an awareness campaign. We want to reach out to the people to make them understand our political agenda," he said.
Muzaffar Hussain Baig came down heavily on Ikhwanis—a counter-insurgent terrorist group—which had a massive base in Bandipora and Sonawari and alleged that they inflicted innumerable suffering on the people in the belt. "People of Kashmir have generally suffered in the past 18 years. But the people in Bandipora and Ajas have additionally suffered because of Ikhwanis," he said adding, "we will not tolerate the politics of coercion and threats".
Nizaumuddin Bhat sought the opening up of Bandipora-Gilgat road and said that the road was vital for the economic development of the area.
He also raised the problems being faced by the newly created district and sought their immediate redressal.