PDP backs self-governance for Kashmir

Published on Jan 23, 2006 11:30 PM IST

The endorsement came as a political resolution adopted during a meeting of the PDP's executive committee.

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None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Jammu

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday endorsed Pakistan's proposal for self-governance as a possible solution to the Kashmir issue.

The endorsement came in the form of a political resolution adopted during a meeting of the PDP's executive committee that was attended by party president Mehbooba Mufti and her father, former chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

The resolution noted with a great deal of appreciation Islamabad's plan for self-rule and demilitarisation to solve the Kashmir issue. The ideas were hailed as a shift from the stated position of Pakistan.

Sayeed and senior PDP leader Muzzaffar Hussain Baig, who is currently the state's deputy chief minister, lent full-throated support to the concept of self-rule and appreciated Pakistan for having come out with such a pragmatic measure.

The resolution was adopted after a prolonged debate as there were some dissenting voices questioning the wisdom of adopting it in haste and praising "imported ideas".

But the dissenters were outnumbered by Sayeed's loyalists.

"The best option is self-rule, and we cannot expect anything better as a solution to the Kashmir crisis," a PDP leader said.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had mooted a proposal to introduce self-governance in Kashmir and to demilitarise the region during an interview earlier this month.

The Indian government rejected the idea, saying Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of the country that already had an elected government.

The PDP's political resolution dwelt at length on the party's achievements while ruling the state in coalition with the Congress. The party also claimed it had set the peace process rolling in Kashmir.

The PDP will deliberate on an economic resolution on Tuesday.

A formal announcement on decisions taken during the two-day meet will be made by Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday.

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