Reiterating the resolve of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to work as a bridge between Indian and Pakistan, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday emphasised on the need to evolve a consensus across the political spectrum of the country to initiate dialogue with the neighbouring country to solve all issues, including Kashmir.
He said the normalcy between India and Pakistan was a must for the socio-economic growth of the people of south Asian region.
Addressing a public meeting in Doda, Sayeed said all political parties, particularly the BJP, should rise above partisan interests to continue the process of dialogue with Pakistan.
He said it was during the NDA rule, under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, that a composite and meaningful dialogue was started with Pakistan and it had yielded results.
Referring to the lead taken by Vajpayee in 2003 during his visit to Kashmir, the PDP chief said it had come against a grim and potentially disastrous scenario as the two nuclear armies were in combat position following the attack on the Parliament.
He reminded that the announced made by Vajpayee on April 18, 2003, in Srinagar was historic because he had extended a hand of friendship towards Pakistan at a crucial time. "It would do no credit to Vajpayee's successors in the BJP to oppose dialogue with Pakistan," he said, adding, "the BJP should stop viewing dialogue with Pakistan with suspicion and lend support to the fresh effort".
Sayeed said the NC leadership had never allowed democracy to flourish in the state. "People of the state feel that democratic institutions have been sabotaged in this region."
Referring to the infamous brazenly rigged 1987 assembly elections, Sayeed said people had lost faith in the ballot due to such manipulated and rigged elections. "Democracy is the best way to address aspirations to the people and involve them in governance," he said.
He added that with the formation of the PDP government, an alternative emerged in the state.