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Updated: August 16, 2010 19:56 IST

Omar stresses need for free trade, travel across LoC

PTI
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Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addresses a public meeting at Thangdhar in Kupwara on Monday.
PTI Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah addresses a public meeting at Thangdhar in Kupwara on Monday.

Good relations between India and Pakistan are imperative for peace and development and both countries should join hands to fight terrorism and help cultivate peace for larger interests of people, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said.

Asserting that the State always had been a recipient of the dividends of thaw in India-Pak relations, he underlined the need for free trade and travel across the Line of Control (LoC) to enhance economic activities and people’s interactions.

Addressing a well-attended public meeting in this bordering village, the Chief Minister stressed on brotherly India-Pak relations and said dialogue between the two countries in a friendly atmosphere will pave the way for settling all issues and contributing for lasting peace in the sub-continent.

“In the last 60 years, we have witnessed three and half wars between the two countries without yielding any positive result. This highlights the need for addressing the issues peacefully,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the bad affects of gun and violence have engulfed Pakistan and there is immediate need for that country to join hands with India to fight terrorism and help cultivate peace for larger interests of the two peoples.

He welcomed the Centre’s recognition of the fact that the accession of the state to India had taken place under unique circumstances, necessitating addressing of political issues of the State in a special manner.

He also welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on the issue of autonomy and said time has provided a historic opportunity to the people of the State to take the advantage of this.

On the present law and order situation in some parts of the Valley, he said stone-pelting and violence will never prove prudent for anyone to ventilate his opinion and stress on the issues.

“We have undergone a saga of militancy and we know it has yielded nothing for us,” he said and appealed to all shades of the people to help restore normalcy and work for peaceful settlement of political issues on table.

“When dialogue process is available, why to resort to stone-pelting and hartals?” he said.

“We have promised to be facilitators in the talks at internal and external levels and my government is actively involved in it,” he added.

The Chief Minister expressed sorrow over the economic losses in recent torrential rains in this border area and said government will take every measure to rehabilitate affected families. He announced six months ration for the affected families and special recruitment drive for the youth of the area.

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