National

Freeing separatists a welcome step: PDP

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday welcomed the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to free separatist leaders so that they can hold public meetings. The Centre’s special representative, Dineshwar Sharma, also praised the move.

“Democracy is a battle of ideas with little space for any coercion or confrontation. The decision to free separatists, including (Hurriyat chairman) Syed Ali Geelani, is a welcome measure. Confidence-building measures must be initiated at the earliest and the PDP would play a vital role in transforming J&K into a hub of peace and prosperity,” PDP general secretary Peerzada Mansoor Hussain said in a public address in Budgam.

The PDP leader urged Mr. Geelani “to play a role in stopping the mayhem and bloodshed in Kashmir”.

He also said it is “high time for India and Pakistan to come forward and evolve consensus so that the people of Kashmir, who are bearing the brunt of the rivalry, could prosper and scale new horizons.”

“The world has now understood the vitality of dialogue and reconciliation. People to people contact between the divided parts of Kashmir, opening of more routes and making borders irrelevant is the only way forward,” he added.

Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma also hailed the J&K government’s move. “The government should allow them (separatists) to move and express freely. There is nothing wrong if they put their point of view freely but without creating any law and order problem,” said Mr. Sharma on Friday. “It's up to the government to decide how to deal with Mr. Geelani and others if they create law and order problem.”

National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar also asked India and Pakistan “to shun their differences and initiate result-oriented talks on Kashmir.”

“Killing of innocents on both sides will not yield anything. It’s time to end the hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries should sit across the table and resolve their differences peacefully,” Mr. Sagar said.


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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 1:40:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/freeing-separatists-a-welcome-step-pdp/article23402590.ece

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