February 2007 News

Military not a solution to Kashmir crisis: PDP

11 February 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition partner People's Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday said a solution to the Kashmir problem can be found only through democratic and political means and the use of armed forces is no substitute to a policy of engagement and dialogue.Briefing the media about the resolutions passed by the PDP executive committee meeting here Sunday evening, former deputy chief minister Muzzaffar Hussain Baig said that the party has also resolved to make Kashmiri pandits a part of the ongoing dialogue at different levels.Reiterating its demand for revocation of the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and gradual reduction of troops from the state, the PDP urged the central government a positive response to the stand taken by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf against violence.Last week, Musharraf had said that the ongoing dialogue between India and Pakistan would help settle the Kashmir dispute.The PDP also resolved to pursue its agenda of encouraging the course of dialogue and reconciliation and its philosophy of 'healing touch' for the overall betterment of the people of the state.The meeting, presided over by party patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, also noted that over the last 15 years thousands of acres of orchards and agricultural land, particularly in Rajouri, Poonch and Doda districts in the Valley, have been acquired by the armed forces without paying the owners compensation or rent.Demanding due compensation for the affected land owners, the PDP said it did not favour any suggestion for the acquisition of these land and orchards by the armed forces on a permanent basis.


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