Jammu and Kashmir leaders greet Pakistan’s new government

March 25th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by admin  


Jammu, March 25 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir leadership Tuesday sent its greetings to Pakistan’s new government led by Makhdoom Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani and hoped the return of democracy in the neighbouring country would create the right atmosphere to address the Kashmir issue. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad welcomed the installation of an elected prime minister in Pakistan, hoping the “return of democracy in the neighbouring country would usher atmosphere of peace and amity in the region”.

He described Gillani’s taking oath as head of the new government in Pakistan, following general elections, as a positive development for the growth of democracy there.

He said this would also end the uncertainty prevailing in Pakistan for the last one year that had also slowed down the dialogue process with India.

“With an elected government in place in Pakistan, I am hopeful that it will work towards consolidation of the peace process initiated by the two countries four years ago,” he said.

Azad’s predecessor and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the stabilization of the democratic and political institutions in Pakistan had rejuvenated the hope for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue.

“With the political situation evolving positively in Pakistan, I see hope in the air and promise in the environment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

He said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who is visiting Pakistan from March 28, would carry to the new government and the people of Pakistan the message of goodwill from the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

“I foresee effective prospects of peace, dignity and prosperity for Jammu and Kashmir in a refreshing environment of India-Pakistan friendship and cooperation,” he said.

National Conference president Omar Abdullah, who is expected to travel to Pakistan next weekend to address a conference on regional stability organized by Pugwash, also expressed similar hope.

“Our best wishes are with the new government,” he said.

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