Mehbooba for involving Hizb in dialogue process
12 August 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), president, Ms Mehbooba Mufti has maintained that lasting peace and durable solution of Kashmir problem cannot be imagined without involving indigenous militant organization Hizbul Mujahideen in the dialogue process. She added that the Indo-Pak talks and involvement of Hurriyat Conference will not bear fruit until Hizb cadres do not participate in a honorable solution of the Kashmir imbroglio. Ms Mufti was addressing a largely attended public gathering at Uri yesterday Advocating opening of Uri- Rawalpandi road, she said that this would be a step forward for finding solution to the Kashmir problem. She said this would lead to normalization of relation between India and Pakistan and create an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding, besides improving the trade and commerce activities. The PDP, she asserted was committed to pull the people out of the morass and change their socio-economic profile. Lauding the role of the people of this border township for their commitment to peace even during militancy, the PDP President said that they again had to contribute significantly in bringing peace to the troubled State. She said people’s contribution to normalize the situation had brought about a discernible change and this year the tourist influx registered a tremendous increase. The smooth conduct of Amarnath yatra and record participation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Khir Bhavani mela was mainly due to change in people’s perception. Reiterating her party’s commitment to usher in a new era of development, Ms Mufti said that several welfare schemes had been started since the coalition Government took over. She said that middle pass youth of Uri will be recruited in the home and hearth battalions of territorial army. She said the water resources available would be utilized for generating electricity and foreign companies would be approached for funding such projects. Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Qazi Mohammad Afzal who also addressed the gathering said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had been able to diagnosis the ills confronting Kashmir and now the process was on to cure these. He said that leaders in the past had exploited people’s sentiments but PDP leadership was able to put a check on gun culture and now people feel the difference. He said development process received impetus and efforts have been made to improve the basic services. He said that work is apace on two lift irrigation schemes in Zenpura and Azadpora in Uri. PDP District President, Baramulla, Mr. Javeed Ahmad Dar, and Zonal President Mr. Bashir Ahmad Mirchal also addressed the meeting. Earlier, a memorandum listing various demands including Schedule Tribe status to the people of the area was also presented.