Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said peace in the sub-continent and resolution of Kashmir issue should dominate the national debate rather than war and confrontation rhetoric.
In a statement issued in Jammu on Tuesday,Sayeed while expressing concern over some recent statements about the possibility of surgical strikes and war as an option to fight terror in the region said such an approach is against the spirit of our times. The current parliamentary election campaign should not be used to score points about which of the two major alliances at the national level is more hawkish in its tone and tenor,he said,adding that “the competition should in fact now be as to which one of the two alternatives is more forward-looking,peace-loving and development-oriented.”
We could take inspiration from the recent American elections which have the potential of turning the world into a more peaceful and better place than what President George W Bush had converted it into. India,he said being a regional super-power,has a moral responsibility to impact its surroundings in a positive and constructive manner.
The PDP Patron said though the UPA is committed to peace with Pakistan and resolution of Kashmir was already being discussed with that country and its internal dimensions too are part of the debate,the unfortunate Mumbai attacks should not serve as a roadblock to the peace and reconciliation process. Instead,he added it should further strengthen our resolve to take the peace process ahead,in spite of the challenges. “The suggestions of surgical strikes across the border or an outright war with Pakistan are obviously out of place,” he said.
Similarly,Mufti said the NDA which under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee had taken a lead in reaching out to Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,should once again reiterate its commitment to that cause. Though,the BJP leadership has unfortunately reverted to the divisive issues of Mandir-Masjid and Hindutva,there was a silver-lining in the recent statement of its President Rajnath Singh that war with Pakistan was no solution to the problems of South Asia.
Referring to the need for strengthening of civil society and democratic forces in Pakistan,Mufti said it was in the interest of the whole region that the democratic institutions in that country are strengthened. “Hawkish voices from our country will only weaken them further and result in the promotion of the agents of hate and violence,” he cautioned.
Mufti reiterated that the voice of the people of Jammu & Kashmir has to be respected in the larger interest of peace in South Asia. “All electoral exercises since 2002 have conveyed in clear-cut terms the determination of the State’s people to carry forward their struggle for justice and fair play in a democratic and peaceful manner,” he said. Any negation of this sentiment will only have the potential of reversing the process of reconciliation,he cautioned.
Sayeed said political aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir can’t be detached from day-to-day functioning of either the Central or the State Government. “The events in Kashmir during the last year hold a lesson for everybody that while development,employment and other measures for upgradation of the standards of life have to be addressed proactively,these can’t be achieved in isolation and in presence of the alienation of people,” he said and added that the right balance has to be struck to solve problems of the region permanently.