Mufti asks India, Pak to end border hostilities, resume dialogue at NY

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
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  • Updated: Aug 25, 2013 18:11 IST

Calling for an end to hostilities on borders in Jammu and Kashmir, opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Sunday said "dialogue not war will resolve the problem"and asked both prime ministers of India and Pakistan to resume dialogue at the upcoming New York meet.

"History teaches us that wars will achieve nothing. The Kargil war is a recent example. It just consumed lives. Unfortunately, it is people of Kashmir who bore the brunt of the wars in the past,"said Sayeed in Srinagar.

Referring to the border skirmishes and rising tension between the two countries, Sayeed said, "The alarmingly developing situation highlights need for a permanent resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue rather than war rhetoric."

The state's largest opposition party claimed that the recent cross-LoC tension has triggered dislocation of residents. "People who were living a normal live after a decade long peace, earned through statesmanship and serious peace processes, are again migrating from parts of Poonch and Rajouri,"claimed Sayeed, a former union home minister.

"The union government cannot overlook the misery, pain and dislocation faced by people every time peace is shattered along the borders,"he added.

Calling for resumption of dialogue, Sayeed asked PM Manmohan Singh not to spur dialogue offer of Pakistan when he meets his counterpart in New York for a UN meeting next month.

"Nawaz Sharif (Pakistan prime minister) having won a decisive mandate on promise of reconciliation with our country should work as a historic new element in Indo-Pak relations,"he said.

He pointed out that the ceasefire survived in the past despite grave provocations like the Mumbai attack. "It now looks like falling apart under the impact of unfortunate killings and the rhetoric unleashed by some hawkish elements,"he said.

Sayeed praised BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his statesmanship and reconciliatory tone for Pakistan during his tenure despite the Kargil episode. "People along the LoC and the international border had heaved a sigh of relief ever since the historic Vajpayee initiative from Srinagar in 2003 of extending a hand of friendship with Pakistan,"he recalled.

But he was quick to add that "the UPA, to its credit, followed up the initiative with very substantial measures like the cross-LoC trade and bus service."

Referring to Singh and Sharif's personal investment in peace, he said, "It will be a great tragedy if with them at the helm of affairs, presiding over the fates of one fifth of human mass, fail to tap the potential and urge for reconciliation,"he said.

The PDP is planning to mobilise public opinion in the state against any impending war. "We want peace and redoubled efforts to secure it on a permanent basis. We want our aspirations, pain and problems configured into any future strategy as J&K is impacted more than any other state in the country,"he said.


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