Indo-Pak Cooperation Vital To Confront The Challenge: Mufti

1 December 2008
Kashmir Watch

Srinagar: Pro Indian Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said the reprehensible attacks in Mumbai not only present a security challenge to the country, but it is also a testing time for the leadership of India and Pakistan. 'In this depressing scenario, sub-continent's security and stability would largely depend on how the leadership of India and Pakistan confronts the challenge,' he said. Addressing the rallies in Budgam, Beerwa and Khansahib constituencies of district Budgam today, the PDP Patron said the people of Jammu & Kashmir, who themselves have immensely suffered the trauma of violence, share the outrage expressed everywhere in the country and abroad over the tragic incidents of Mumbai. He said the people of the State have already rejected violence and they have time and again reposed their faith in the peaceful and democratic means for the resolution of political problems. The country's leadership, Sayeed emphasized, shall have to appreciate the positive and historic signals emanating from Jammu & Kashmir and ensure that the terrible Mumbai events do not result in any kind of confrontation in South Asia. 'It is my firm belief that a solution to all problems in the region is possible only within a space provided by cooperation and reconciliation between India and Pakistan,' he said. Sayeed said the peace process has already moved ahead considerably as it has had significant contributions from Atal Behari Vajpayee and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh with almost equal response from the Pakistani leadership. 'It would be disastrous if we fall into the trap laid by the enemies of peace,' he said and added that the consensus, painstakingly built up in the country for peaceful resolution of the region's problems should not be sacrificed for electoral gains. 'That will be playing into the hands of perpetrators,' he said. Sayeed made it clear that the Mumbai attacks necessitate joint response from India and Pakistan to the new phenomenon of violence to ensure that the disruptive elements are not able to sabotage the peace process or weaken the forces of reconciliation in the region. 'Any knee-jerk reaction would not only jeopardize the region's security and peace, but could unleash similar threats of bigger magnitude,' he said. The PDP Patron said the timing of the Mumbai attacks suggests that closure of ranks between India and Pakistan at the governmental and non-governmental levels is something that hurts a section which does not want peace between the neighbors. He said sinister efforts were made on similar occasions in the past as well to derail the peace process. 'Our challenge is to go ahead with cooperation and step up vigil for future,' Sayeed said and added that the political leadership and the civil society of the two countries must act with wisdom and do not allow the hawkish rhetoric to spoil the gains of the peace process. 'The situation necessitates inclusive engagement of the people, in both the countries, in the renewed peace efforts by expanding and consolidating the confidence building process,' he said. Making it clear that there was no alternative to the agenda of peace and reconciliation, Sayeed said that while the people of the region want it, the changing threat perceptions demand it. 'The silver-lining is that the political leadership and the people in the region have started sharing a constructive vision rather than getting bogged down by obtrusive mindset,' he said and added that if elected to power, PDP would, with fresh resolve, work towards facilitating resolution of the State's political and economic problems through peaceful and reconciliatory means.