Kashmir To See “Unbelievable” CBMs: Soz

18 April 2008

Srinagar: The state Congress president and union minister for water resources, Prof Saifuddin Soz, today said that the centre was contemplating confidence building measures (CBMs) for Kashmir, which “could not be even conceived today.” Addressing a public meeting in Noor Bagh Eidgah, Prof Soz said that talks between India and Pakistan would be resumed and both countries would undertake further confidence building measures. Prof Soz said that a long list of Kashmir-related CBMs was under consideration of the centre, but he could not reveal the measures in the pipeline in advance because the parliament was in session. “The steps will become clear in the near future, and I can assure that such CBMs will be announced as you and I cannot even conceive of today,” he said. He said that both Indian and Pakistani governments give primacy to moving forward, while the Congress-led government at the centre was engaged in efforts to ensure development alongside peace. Lauding the chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prof Soz said that the Azad-led government had achieved new milestones in development, while developmental work had been done under Mufti Muhammad Sayeed also. He said that the state had abundant water resources and efforts were underway to safeguard them. According to Prof Soz, the river Jhelum would be cleaned from Kahanabal to Khadanyar and its banks freed of all encroachments. “Water transport will start playing in the Jhelum, and it will be available to the people within a short period of time,” he said. The union minister announced a package of Rs 20 lakh for the drainage system and other developmental works in the locality. He also said that several centrally sponsored schemes would be introduced in Palpora and its adjacent areas besides providing basic facilities.