The largest Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to extend invitations to the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch India-Pakistan semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup at Mohali on March 30.
The PDP president Mehooba Mufti, in a statement exuded confidence that this gesture would help in bringing positive changes to the sub-continent.
"Though the step is small in nature, it could act as a catalyst to improve relations between the two countries leading to a formal dialogue at highest level," she said and hoped that this step would help in breaking the ice and to resume the dialogue, which had been stalled since 2008 after some unfortunate events.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday invited the Pakistani President and the Prime Minister to watch the Indo-Pak cricket encounter in Mohali.
Hoping that this small gesture would give an impetus to the process of normalisation of bilateral ties between the two countries, the PDP chief said people of Jammu and Kashmir were hopeful that this development would have a positive impact on the situation in the State.
Recalling 2003 cricket match between India and Pakistan in Lahore, the PDP chief said the then Pakistan president General Parvez Musharraf had extended invitation to the Indian leadership at that time.
"A large number of people from India had gone to watch that match and that development had helped in opening channel of communication between civil society of both the countries," she maintained.
"Both the countries have to seize the present opportunity to further improve their relations", she said and stressed on the need of restarting exchange programmes for the artists, professionals and members of civil society from both the countries.
She pointed out that Indo-Pak cooperation was the key to resolving the region's problems so both the countries have to show maturity in the interest of the people.