Mehbooba asks Govt to consider PoK offer of supplying gas to State
11 February 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti has welcomed the statement of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Prime Minister, Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan offering gas and electricity to Jammu and Kashmir and seeking investment from the entrepreneurs of all the regions and religions of the State in PoK. She called for constituting a consultative committee comprising legislators and experts from both sides of the State to work-out the implementation of these measures. 'It is a bold and visionary statement and needs to be responded positively by the Government of India and the Jammu and Kashmir Government,' Ms Mufti said at a PDP convention of Jammu West at Rehari today. Ms Mufti said such measures would lay a strong foundation for joint institutional mechanism between the two parts of the State setting the basis for the peace and prosperity of the region. 'I urge both the countries to grab the moment and allow the project to take off,' she said and added that it would be a turning point for the economic prosperity of both parts of the State. She said the much-awaited offer would benefit all the regions of the State and will throw up new opportunities for economic progress. Ms Mufti also welcomed the PoK Premierís offer of jobs to the Jammu and Kashmir youth in the fields of engineering and medicine. 'If our youth can work in other parts of the world, why not in other part of our own State,' she said and asked the Government to constitute a consultative group involving experts from both sides to work-out the details of these offers. The PDP President has asked the Government to allow the students from other part of the State to get admission in the professional colleges and universities of Jammu and Kashmir as has been suggested by the PoK Premiere. 'We should respond to these suggestions positively to make the people from both parts of the State equal stake-holders in the peace process, otherwise all our talk of peace and reconciliation would be meaningless for the people of the State,' she said. To make Jammu and Kashmir a bridge of friendship between the two countries, Ms Mufti said it is imperative that these measures should be given a chance to take off. She said the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, a renowned economist himself could well envision the huge positive impact such measures would have on the economy of the region and we expect a positive response from him on the same. Senior PDP leaders, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Dhaman Bhasin and others addressed the meeting which was jointly organised by Renu Azad and R K Bali.