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Try harder for J&K peace: Mufti to Pak

The ex-CM asks Pak to use its influence over terrorists to cease violence and bloodletting, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 16:28 IST
Arun Joshi

Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeedhas askedPakistanto contribute in abig wayin further"brightening" prospectsof peace in Jammu and Kashmir byusing its influence over terrorists tocease violence and bloodletting.

Whilethe civil secretariat in Jammu was rife with speculations about the widening rift betweenhis party PDP and ally Congress, Mufti Sayeedchose to spell out his peace agenda at a commemorative meetingon Wednesday, with a focus on the return of peace to the state, andalsorestoring thedisplaced Kashmiri Pandits to their homes in theKashmir Valley.

He said that once peace comes back, "we will have our displaced people back in their homes and alsocompositeculture andtraditional fabric of agesthat have become victims of theturmoil of the current times."

Mufti Sayeed, who is the patron of PDP, saidthatall— India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir— are the"stakeholders in the peace process" in the state. He asked Pakistanto see thathow prospects of peace in Kashmir had brightened up."The ground realities are rapidly and strongly changing for good," he said.

Mufti said the determination and wisdom with which the leadership of India and Pakistan are working towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue has generated new hope among the people of the state and they are expecting a positive outcome.

But, he emphasised that Pakistan has a special role to play. "Pakistan must also use, whatever influence it has, on the terrorists to prevent further loss of life and destruction of property and give the peace process a chance to succeed."

Mufti Sayeed, who hasalways sought the return of the terrorists to the normal way of lifeby offering themmeans ofleading ahome life, asked the terrorists to join the dialogue process and play a constructive role in the resolution of the problem peacefully.

PDP patron was speaking at a function organised in connection with the fifth death anniversary of former minister, Manohar Nath Kaul , better known as Mankak.

He said not only Jammu and Kashmir,the fate of the whole sub-continent is hanging in balance as it has now developed huge stakes in the ongoing peace process. "It has to tread a tedious path as there are suspicions on both sides," he said but asserted that the culmination of the process has to be in the larger interest of the people of the region.

Sayeed said during his recent visit to US, he was surprised to learn about the enthusiasm the peace process has generated among the people on the other side of Kashmir. "They also want to be a part of the resolution process so that they have equal stakes in the peace and prosperity of the region," he said.

Sayeed said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the major stakeholders in the peace process as they are paying a huge price in the continuing conflict. "We are not only losing our life and property, the violence has destroyed our social and cultural fabric as well," he said and added that the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley is one of the fallouts of the turmoil.

"But I am sure, with the success of the peace process, Kashmir would not only get back peace, but its displaced people as well," he said.

First Published: Dec 20, 2006 16:07 IST