Indo-Pak talks demand political direction: Mufti
Addressing a public meeting at Beerwa in Budgam district, Mufti cautioned that the decade long peace effort could derail in absence of a political direction to the discourse that was dangerously poised once again to fall into narrow security narrative. He however expressed hope that the foreign secretary’s conference in New Delhi would achieve more positive results than the recent home secretary’s conference in implementing J&K specific CBMs decided by the foreign ministers last year to expand the trade and travel facilities across the LOC.
Mufti said relations between India and Pakistan had shown a steady improvement ever since the visit of Atal Behari Vajpayee to Kashmir from where he had responded to the yearning for peace he observed among the people here and set a new agenda of friendship.
“The UPA too strengthened this effort through path-breaking initiatives like the opening of cross-LOC routes for trade and travel during its first stint. But unfortunately the process seems once again to be following the familiar pre-2003 downward direction with incidents holding the process hostage,” he said and added unless this trend is arrested by a bold political intervention, South Asia could once again be heading for a crisis with Jammu and Kashmir having to face its most disastrous consequences. “We have a direct stake in peace,” he said. Stressing the urgent need for building up on the gains of peace process Mufti said the situation could be retrieved only by seizing the opportunity to revive the resolution effort that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been pushing for through peaceful and democratic means.
“An amicable and peaceful resolution of the J&K issue is unavoidable for peace in this part of the world,” he said. The surface calm preailing in the state is fragile and it is tentative at best that is sustained mainly with unacceptable methods of silencing dissent, Mufti added.—NNI