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PDP welcomes Abdullah’s statement

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Talks with Pakistan, Hurriyat inevitable for peace in JK: Akhtar  

Srinagar, Jul 21: The PDP today welcomed NC president Farooq Abdullah’s statement in Parliament on Kashmir and said the Centre should utilise the consensus among the political groups in the Valley and respond to it at the earliest.

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah in his maiden speech in the 16th Lok Sabha raised the issue of peace in Kashmir yesterday and made an emotional appeal to the government to start a dialogue with Pakistan.

“PDP welcomes Abdullah’s change of heart and the party hopes that it is not a mere poll gimmick by the NC president. We hope Abdullah sticks to it and contributes to the resolution of the Kashmir issue in a positive manner.

“It is also a high time for the central government to utilise this consensus among the political groups in Kashmir vis-a-vis the peaceful resolution of Kashmir and that the government of India should respond to this consensus at an earliest. Creating political vacuum will not help in any way,” former minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said in a statement here.

Akhtar said things in Jammu and Kashmir could not be done in compartments and the central government must take a holistic approach to address the decades-old conflict amicably and peacefully.

“While development of the state is important, broader political trouble has to be addressed and fixed first. Until then, peace will remain elusive. Talks with Pakistan, Hurriyat and other stakeholders is needed and through this way only, the situation will get stabilised. It is a moral responsibility of the central government to address the issue and make peace an inseparable feature of the state,” he said.

He said while the NC president is known for making U-turns, changing statements and stands quite often, the party was hopeful that what he said in Parliament this time for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir would remain unchanged.

“Otherwise, Abdullah has openly advocated bombardment of Pakistan, demanded catching and killing of Kashmiris while stating that the prisons in Kashmir are packed to capacity. He has been a stern opponent of the ceasefire with Pakistan both at the time of Vajpayee and when it was announced recently this year. This time, it is hoped that he remains firm on what he has said,” Akhtar said.

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