Mehbooba Says Her Govt Released Geelani, Malik

12 April 2008

Sopur: First time after 2002 elections, the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti today addressed her party workers at Dak Bungalow here and took credit of releasing Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik from jails. She however acknowledged that Sopur has been neglected on development front over the years but said she would work for the development of the Sopur. She called for converting Jammu & Kashmir into an area of free trade and movement Mehbooba said during her recent visit to Pakistan she was assured by the political leadership of that country that cross-LoC trade through Jammu & Kashmir would be facilitated by this year. “I am sure that during the upcoming Indo-Pak composite dialogue process, the modalities of cross-LoC trade would be finalized and trucks would start rolling on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road anytime,” she said and added that the Government of India is also committed at the highest level to facilitate cross-LoC trade through Jammu & Kashmir. She said PDP has suggested a two-tier mechanism to make the process of cross-LoC cooperation more comprehensive and result-oriented. “While at one level India and Pakistan would sort out the issues at the bilateral level, setting up of an intra-Jammu & Kashmir Regional Council involving elected representatives from both the sides could identify the areas for mutual cooperation to facilitate free flow of people, goods, ideas, services and cultures between the two parts of Kashmir,” she said and added that such an arrangement could eventually lead to transforming Jammu & Kashmir into a politically stable and economically vibrant entity. She said her party is credited with ensuring an effective role for the pro-India political parties in the Kashmir resolution process. “The exceptional reconciliatory policies adopted by the PDP-led Coalition Government after 2002 elections brought the State Government, for the first time, on the vanguard of the Kashmir resolution process,” she said and added that it was because of these historic policies of PDP that the pro-India parties, who were otherwise perceived as adversaries, started regaining legitimacy and credibility as proponents of the Kashmir resolution process, not only within the State, but across the border as well.