December 2003 News

Mufti To Seeks Vajpayee's Approval For MPs' Delegation To Pakistan

12 December 2003
News Network International

Jammu: The puppet Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said that he would talk to the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for sending a state legislators' good-will delegation to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir to strengthen the new atmosphere of peace and friendship generated in the region in the wake of a series of peace initiatives and confidence building measures. Appreciating the urge of legislators for such a visit, the Chief Minister while winding up over six-hour debate in the state assembly spread over two sittings on the resolution moved by him endorsing the PM's peace initiatives on Kashmir, said that such visit would facilitate process of normalization between the two countries as they would carry people's message of friendship for our brethren across the border. 'I personally endorse such suggestion as the visits would provide an opportunity to understand each other better and remove misconceived perceptions,' he said and referred to his interaction with some people from Azad Kashmir in London who believed that 'Kashmiris were captives of the security forces.' He said fifty per cent hatred would go once the people of the two countries and two parts of Jammu and Kashmir would visit each other, daily Excelsior reported. Mufti Sayeed expressed optimism about the forward movement in the impending peace process between India and Pakistan and said that all issues including Kashmir should be discussed for lasting peace in the region. 'The centre must not be defensive on Kashmir,' he said. He said that the state assembly would have a definite and prominent role in the peace process. The dialogue manifests the desire of the members of the House for peaceful resolution of all the issues that can usher in lasting peace in the state. He said talks have been going on earlier also but nobody knew who was talking to whom. He said he talked to the Prime Minster, Deputy Prime Minister and Ms Sonia Gandhi and argued if the centre could talk to Naga ultra why can't it talk to the people of Kashmir, especially those who questioned the accession and wanted to talk at the highest level. He said he is happy that the dialogue process has been upgraded to Deputy Prime Minister's level. Mufti Sayeed did not agree with the observations of Abdul Rahim Rather that appointment of Vohra as the centre's interlocutor was in anyway to downgrade the talks after K C Pant and Arun Jaitley and said that Vohra is a vital part of the team headed by the Deputy Prime Minister nominated for talks. 'No demarcation line has been drawn for dialogue and the doors are open to all,' he said, adding that the talks would not remain exclusive to specific groups, as no demarcation line has been drawn, he added. He, however, made it clear that such historic occasions do not come again and again and anybody spurning it is bound to repent. Strongly refuting the allegations made by Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah that he had engineered division in APHC and said, asking was he such a force that could break the Hurriyat? Had it been possible, this would have been done long ago, he said. 'We must welcome those who respond positively to the dialogue offer,' he said. He disagreed with the observations about the Indo-Pak talks being held under the American pressure and said that this is because of the situation in the state yearning for peace not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in India and Pakistan. He said the fact is that there is a widespread support for people to people contact and a greater realization that confrontation does not pay in both the nations. This itself is the main pressure. Advising the people not to take the present peace process lightly, Mufti Sayeed thundered: 'Take it from me, one-day peace would become a reality and bus from Srinagar would definitely reach Muzzafarabad. Similarly, bus service would take off from Suchetgarh for Sialkot.' -


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