September 2006 News

Mufti calls for time-bound CBMS

18 September 2006
Indo-Asian News Service

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Monday said a time-bound institutional mechanism must be put in place by both India and Pakistan for implementation of specific confidence building measures (CBMs). 'Now that the peace process is back on track, both the countries must agree on time-bound implementation of Jammu and Kashmir-specific CBMs,' Sayeed said at a public rally in the border town of Samba, 40 km southwest of here. Hailing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's meeting at Havana, the Peoples Democratic Party patron said: 'The India-Pakistan joint statement is the beginning of a new chapter between the two countries and its dividends must flow to Jammu and Kashmir in a time-bound manner.'Sayeed said India and Pakistan must facilitate creation of a collaborative and consultative mechanism between two parts of Jammu and Kashmir to substantiate the gains of cooperation that would ultimately lead to the resolution of the political, economic and social troubles of the area. 'The creation of such an institutional mechanism is imperative to address the issues of common concern in the state,' he said, adding that one such measure could be constitution of consultative groups comprising personalities of eminence from both sides of the Line of Control that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.According to Sayeed, hostility between the two nations in the past has only spelt disaster and immense suffering for the people of Jammu and Kashmir over which the two nations have fought three wars since 1947.'Till the time a mutually acceptable framework for resolution of the political aspect of the Kashmir problem is worked out, there should be side-by-side tangible movement on promotion of travel, trade, tourism and economic cooperation across the LoC,' he said. Sayeed said economic cooperation could be fostered by setting up cross-LoC joint committees of experts on trade, tourism, culture, water resources, agriculture, environment, education, handicraft and disaster management. In terms of specific measures to be implemented across the LoC, he suggested increasing frequency of bus services on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads, making trans-LoC movement of people less cumbersome and more frequent, extending travel facility beyond the divided families and opening of all traditional cross-LoC road links including Suchetgarh-Sialkote and Kargil-Skardu.


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