Kashmir No Longer Bone Of Contention Between Indo-Pak: Sayeed
27 June 2005
New Delhi: Asserting that peace between India and Pakistan was 'visible' but at 'some distance', Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today said Kashmir issue was emerging as a bridge of friendship between the two countries and not the 'bone of contention'. India and Pakistan have come closer to each other and the prospects of peace 'are visible, though still at some distance,' he said addressing the National Development Council, earlier inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 'The state of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of being the bone of contention, is becoming a bridge of friendship among the two nations,' Sayeed said. He said the economic development of the two countries could get a boost 'if the scarce resources are invested in programmes of development and poverty alleviation rather than being spent on preparation for armed conflict.' 'Peace is a sine quo non for the development of Jammu and Kashmir state, where tourism has been a major source of income and employment,' he added. The state is expecting that the number of tourists would cross one million figure this year, Sayeed said and added that this was helping to have a favourable atmosphere for private investments as well. 'We are expecting an investment of Rs 5000 crore from private investors in the industrial sector this year,' the Chief Minister said.