Appreciate Pak's Fight Against Terror: Sayeed

25 August 2009
The Hindustan Times
Ashok Das

Jammu: The main opposition PDP's patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has questioned the shifting stands of the Indian foreign policy vis-à-vis dialogue with Pakistan and urged the Indian leadership to appreciate Islamabad's “enormous fight against terrorism on its own soil.' Severely criticising Foreign Minister S M Krishna’s assertion not to talk to Pakistan until credible action terrorism is taken by Islamabad, Mufti Sayeed in a statement on Tuesday directed the foreign policy experts to the milestones that Pakistan had covered in fight against terrorism and stressed for immediate restart of the composite dialogue for the benefit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the Pakistan’s military action against Pakistan Taliban militants in Swat, Buner and Dir, Mufti said: “our foreign policy experts must take into consideration the enormity of Pakistani initiative against violence.” “No country has launched such an open war against terrorism in recent times in its own land and our refusal to talk to them could push the government in that country,” he said. Mufti Sayeed, a strong protagonist of dialogue between India and Pakistan and between Srinagar and Delhi, disappointed with the statement of Foreign Minister, said that this assertion sits at odds with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh where the terrorism was delinked from the dialogue process. Reflecting an urge for an early start of the Indo-Pak dialogue in the statement which also portrayed the pain of the people of the state, who, he said were the worst sufferers because of the hostilities between the two nations, the PDP leader alerted the Indian leadership about the dangers of alienation deepening because of this intransigence. Mufti said, “reservations in addressing the issue of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan and people of the state could once again lead to alienation and consequent problems.” Mufti said with the inability of government of India to initiate action on the internal dimension of the resolution process the latest stand of our foreign office comes as a grim reminder for the people of the state struggling to recover from decades of disturbance, uncertainty and violence. The PDP patron said people of the state had invested a great deal of effort, risk and hope in turning around the situation in Jammu that had resulted in the generation of a new atmosphere of understanding. Manmohan Singh himself had contributed to this situation by continuing the initiative taken by Atal Behari Vajpayee and following it up with substantial measures like the reopening of trade and travel across LOC and help speeding up development process. “How can Manmohan Singh now approve closing options of dialogue with Pakistan and stake holders in J&K without risking the great gains of peace process,' wondered Mufti.