Initiate peace process with India, Omar tells Sharif

Initiate peace process with India, Omar tells Sharif

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday congratulated Nawaz Sharif on his victory in the Pakistan parliamentary elections and called upon the former premier to initiate peace process with India to end violence.

“Guns cannot be described as good or bad guns as they are always responsible for bleedings and killings. Let gun-culture end once and for all. Let peace prevail and let issues be resolved amicably across the table,” Omar said while addressing a public rally in Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

“We have seen how much damage guns have caused to Pakistan. The people in Pakistan have undergone an unfortunate phase of killings and sufferings due to gun, similar to what the people of Jammu and Kashmir experienced during a long period of militancy for over 22 years,” he said.

A reminder

The chief minister sought to remind Sharif of the initiative he had taken up during his earlier premiership to restore friendship with India and resolve the Kashmir issue. Omar Abdullah urged him to move ahead once again on this issue positively.

“Today is an important day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir as the elections were held in Pakistan and Mian Nawaz Sharif is emerging as victorious. I, from this stage at Trikulbal Pattan, congratulate Mian Sahib on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, my government and myself hope that he will carry forward the process of restoring peace and friendship with India and work for resolving the Kashmir-issue,” he said.

He appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to extend a hand of friendship to Sharif for resolving all issues, including those pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, in a way  similar to  Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s gesture as prime minister in extending a friendly hand to then Pakistan president General Musharraf.

Meanwhile, welcoming the successful completion of the general election in Pakistan, opposition People’s Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed hoped that the establishment of a stable and liberal government in that country would help to bring peace. Complimenting the people of Pakistan on giving democracy a big boost by voting in large numbers in an atmosphere marred by violence, Mufti said it augured well not only for the interests of that country but also for the Indo-Pakistan relations.

He said Sharif has been one of the architects of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan and his return to power has raised hopes of an earnest and sincere follow-up of the initial progress of the dialogue.

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