Mehbooba calls for truce with terrorists for Indo-Pak talks
10 May 2003
The Hindustan Times
Press Trust of India
Srinagar: Calling on terrorists to announce a ceasefire, president of ruling Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday hoped that Pakistan would help create a congenial atmosphere for Indo-Pak dialogue. 'We do hope that Pakistan uses its influence in creating a congenial atmosphere for dialogue. The expressions of goodwill by Pakistan Premier Mir Jafarullah Khan Jamali would hopefully be matched by improvement in the ground situation in the state,' Mehbooba told reporters after a meeting of the PDP's executive body here. She said it would help if gun- wielding youth responded to the new situation by at least announcing a ceasefire as their contribution to the confidence building measures. Highlighting the importance for softening of borders to enable people from both sides to interact, she said the PDP desired that Indo-Pak detente takes off from Kashmir. To begin with, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's announcement ahead of the Agra summit to open land routes across the Line of Control should be implemented, the newly appointed PDP president said. Mehbooba appealed to all sections of people of the state to rise above partisan considerations and lend a helping hand to the peace process initiated by Vajpayee from Kashmir. She also hailed Congress, a coalition partner, for helping evolve a consensus in the country on the issue. Welcoming the positive response from Pakistan to the new initiative announced by Vajpayee, she said the PDP hoped the process would be taken to its logical and just conclusion.