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Mufti asks centre to seize historic opportunity

'Congress should hold the bull by horns right now to use the golden opportunity', says Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, reports Sanjay Khajuria.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 19:20 IST

PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday asked the Centre to "seize the historic opportunity of resolving Kashmir issue" and the opportunity that exists today may not be there tomorrow.

Mufti Sayeed reiterated his party's position at a massive gathering in Jammu, a first of sorts in the region where party until recently was seen struggling to have a foothold. He said that India and Pakistan have a joint responsibility to grab this moment and solve the Kashmir problem once for all.

"There is a thaw in the Indo-Pak relationship and the Congress Government at the Centre should Congress led government at centre should use the opportunity to make a clear way for peace in the state."

During his first appearance in Jammu after his month-long visit to the USA as head of the non-official delegation of India, Mufti Sayeed said :" Congress should hold the bull by horns right now to use the golden opportunity and don't let go any chance to restore peace for which all are looking forward.'

Hailing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, "I watched him on TV responding to the various initiatives from two sides even including recently tossed four point agenda from Pak side.'

Equating the Jammu and Kashmir to a bridge, he said, "I wish this would abridge the gap between the two nations." Not failing to mention PDP's commitment for peace as mentioned in the manifesto in Polls 2002, Mufti Sayeed said that party has right from the beginning has stressed for the dialogue.

Reminding the past to the gathering he applauded the then NDA government headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who extended a 'hand of friendship' from the valley in his speech. He said the then NDA has initiated a high level dialogue after due consideration and it was not a fluke but a well-thought considered move from the centre which later was followed by UPA government.

Describing it as a biggest achievement, he said our agenda of dialogue has got endorsement of the Centre and the nation. He however, said that what could not be resolved in the past 60 years, now it is expected to be sorted out but perhaps will take time to reach to a solution.

He also hoped new road opening to make the state a hub of economy in the sub continent.

Obsessed by the 'self rule', Mufti asserted that though it has been ridiculed like other proposals mooted by the party but wrong notions can be sorted out on the negotiation table. 'But what is need of the hour is to restore peace between both the countries and get hatred die down, he said.

He said that the coalition government in the state is strong and stable and the rumors about its so-called instability after some
strife within it- a family too has some disagreement on certain issue.

He said, "Left with no issue, they are now trying to mislead the people about the stability of the coalition."

Referring to four point agenda from Pakistan president has taken a bold step, he said, "Now we all should give peace a chance to succeed.

Echoing the Self Rule the Musharraf mantra, Mufti strong proponent of this reiterated that self-rule is the only viable solution to the Kashmir issue. "I have discussed self-rule on the sidelines of the UN meet and people welcomed our proposal. Mufti Sayeed boastfully said this in the back drop of the banner depicting "Self Rule -a vision to guarantee sincerity of people's verdict, regional federalism and justice to all."

Earlier former Deputy Chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig in his address highlighted the achievements of the coalition government. Seeing the responsive gathering, he appreciated the initiatives of party activists and local leaders to gather support for the party in a huge manner.

Those present on this occasion included Tariq Hameed Kara minister for Finance, Planning, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Mohammed Dilwar Mir, minister for Housing & Urban Development and Tourism, Abdul Aziz Zargar minister for Agriculture, Sericulture, Cooperatives and Fisheries, Qazi Mohammed Afzal minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control and Horticulture Forest, Environment and Ecology, Peer Mohammed Hussain, Manjeet Singh (both Minister of States), T S Bajwa MP, Ved Mahajan MLC, Shanti Devi MLA, Nizaum-ud-din Khatana ex MLC, Rangil Singh vice president, Daman Bhasin and Romesh Motton.

First Published: Dec 21, 2006 19:20 IST