Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has warned Indian leadership against any suggestion of " surgical strikes" or war with Pakistan as an option to fight terror. Instead, he proposed that the peace and Kashmir resolution should form core of the national debate.
In a severe reprimand to both the UPA and NDA, Mufti Sayeed during whose tenure Indo-Pak peace process got restarted with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee extending hand of friendship to Pakistan from Srinagar in April 2003, said that the need of the hour was to avoid confrontation and seek peace.
At a time when the Indian ands Pakistan leadership were locked in a fiery blame game on where the 26/11 attacks were planned and who all were involved , the Kashmiri leadership of all hues have asked India and Pakistan to scale down the war rhetoric and focus on the measures to end suspicion and work for restoring confidence.
National Conference leadership, including chief minister Omar Abdullah, party president Farooq Abdullah, have told the leadership of the two countries that the best course is reconciliation and not the options of war. Similar voices have been heard from CPI-M, PDP and JKDP.
Mufti Sayeed in a statement issued in Jammu on Tuesday outlined the entire scenario and reminded the UPA and NDA leadership that they should not talk of war or surgical strikes . He said that such an "approach is against the spirit of our times".
The PDP patron said though the UPA is committed to peace with Pakistan and resolution of Kashmir was already being discussed with that country and its internal dimensions too are part of the debate, the unfortunate Mumbai attacks should not serve as a roadblock to the peace and reconciliation process. Instead, he added it should further strengthen our resolve to take the peace process ahead, inspite of the challenges.
"The suggestions of surgical strikes across the border or an outright war with Pakistan are obviously out of place," he said.
Mufti reiterated that the voice of the people of Jammu & Kashmir has to be respected in the larger interest of peace in South Asia.
"All electoral exercises since 2002 have conveyed in clear-cut terms the determination of the State's people to carry forward their struggle for justice and fair play in a democratic and peaceful manner," he said.
Any negation of this sentiment will only have the potential of reversing the process of reconciliation, he cautioned.
Sayeed said political aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir can't be detached from day-to-day functioning of either the Central or the State government.
"The events in Kashmir during the last year hold a lesson for everybody that while development, employment and other measures for upgradation of the standards of life have to be addressed proactively, these can't be achieved in isolation and in presence of the alienation of people," he said and added that the right balance
has to be struck to solve problems of the region permanently.