India-Pakistan peace will pick up momentum: Farooq Abdullah

January 13th, 2009 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 13 (IANS) The peace process between India and Pakistan would soon be back on the rails, the new president of Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling National Conference (NC) Farooq Abdullah said here Tuesday while dispelling fears of a war breaking out between the two countries.The former chief minister, whose son Omar Abdullah took over as chief minister last week, was Tuesday formally elected as president of the National Conference.

“There would be no war between the two neighbours. Those fears must be removed. The peace process which had slowed down in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks would soon pick up momentum,” Farooq Abdullah told reporters.

Farooq Abdullah, who had passed on the mantle of the party presidentship to his son Omar Abdullah in 2002, said his party would press for the reopening of the historic silk route so that Kashmir could once again start trade with Central Asian countries.

After stepping aside as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in favour of his son, the elder Abdullah has decided to take charge of the party to strengthen it, said a party insider.

“I shall redouble my efforts to strengthen the party. We shall also take stock of the party’s performance in the constituencies where we lost the elections recently.

“The historic old city Mujahid Manzil headquarters of the party would be renovated soon and on every Friday leaders of the party would meet the people there like we used to during the days of my late father, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah,” Farooq Abdullah said.

The historic Mujahid Manzil, headquarters of the National Conference in the old city, has remained closed since the present phase of the separatist violence broke out here in the early 1990s.

The party’s executive body, comprising general secretary Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, Sakina Itoo, Mir Saifullah, Qaiser Jamshad Lone, Sharief-ud-Din Shariq and Mehoob Baig, met at Nawa-e-Subha headquarters in Srinagar to announce Farooq Abdullah’s election as National Conference president.

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