'Indo-Pak Talks Benefiting J&K'
20 October 2004
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said that things were fast improving in the state as a result of resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.In an informal talk with reporters, Mr Sayeed said that 'there was complete transformation in the atmosphere in the state and people were responding to the changed situation. 'It is a change that is reflecting in people's thinking. Today, people of Jammu and Kashmir are reposing faith in moving forwards on the path of development,' he said. Mr Sayeed also stressed the need for setting up major infrastructure projects in the state to deal with the issue of growing unemployment. He said that it was imperative to start production-oriented projects which could also generate employment in the state. 'I feel that power and roads are among the areas where long-term investment was warranted in Jammu and Kashmir,' he said. Mr Sayeed, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to discuss economic package for Jammu and Kashmir, said that in view of increased flow of visitors to the state the State Government will take all possible steps to provide better tourist infrastructure. The Chief Minister said in his meeting with the Prime Minister he had taken up the issue of starting Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service. 'This would facilitate better people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan,' he said. Emphasising the need for reconciliation between India and Pakistan, Mr Sayeed said that 'dialogue was the only way to resolve all the outstanding disputes between the two neighbours'. On the Centre's attempt to revive the stalled dialogue process with the separatist leaders, Mr Sayeed cautioned against undue haste. 'There was no need to rush into talks with anyone. These thing take time. There should be no desperation,' he said. Talking about Mr Manmohan Singh's forthcoming visit to the state, Mr Sayeed said that 'the Prime Minister is a great economist, so he will surely find ways to fulfill our aspirations.'