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A step in the right direction, says Mufti

By Our Staff Reporter

Jammu May 27. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today termed the decision to resume bus service between India and Pakistan and the release of prisoners as "a step in the right direction" which would set the tone for ushering in peace in the State and ending the bloodshed.

He told reporters here: "The confidence-building measures taken by both the countries show the sincerity of the leadership of both countries towards each other. Unlike in the past, at the moment both the countries are not over-hyping their efforts to normalise relations but have their feet firmly on ground and this is what makes me believe that the time has come for peace to return to the State in the near future".

"It seems the Pakistani leadership is beginning to understand the sentiments and thinking of he people of the State for peace. It is the people who have given a verdict for peace and in this situation nobody can sustain violence and bloodshed, as times have changed".

Saying that the biggest beneficiaries of peace would be the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said": "All the three regions of the State would be the gainers. Just imagine that the borders would once again be calm and shelling comes to an end. Peace is the life-saving drug for the people and it is time they got relief."

He termed the opening of the Sialkot-Suchetgarh and Muzafarrabad-Uri road networks as important for peace.

He expressed confidence that the road networks between the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir would be opened.

On peace talks he said, "there is a need to learn from past mistakes. Settling disputes between the two countries is a time-consuming effort and it requires a lot of effort and sittings."

Favoring a "bottom-to-top approach" he said, "let there be more people-to-people contact so that prejudices between both sides reduce".

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