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Kashmir self-rule document to be made public

Srinagar, May 14, 2007 (Kashmir Newz Desk) :

The coalition government ally in Indian administered Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the party would soon make its self-rule document public that lays out the broad road map for amicable and ultimate settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

Former Indian Home Minister and former chief minister of the Indian administered Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is also the patron of PDP, said today that self-rule, when implemented fully, would fully address the basic grievances and aspirations of the people. “Besides it will also outline the incentives and instruments for resolving, both the internal and external dimensions of the issue” he added.

Addressing a public meeting here today, Sayeed asserted that the people of Kashmir have a vital role ahead in shaping up, not only their own destiny but that of the whole region.

He said PDP's self-rule proposal also accords highest priority to economic rejuvenation of Kashmir in proportion to its legendary place of medieval business hub of South Asia.

He said the most striking feature of the self-rule was its emphasis on a space of dignity and opportunity for the people of Kashmir in the South Asian region free from friction and feud. "My optimism of a peaceful and progressive Kashmir, reflected in self-rule, emanates from the basic oneness of the people of the subcontinent dominating all other considerations in an atmosphere of goodwill," he said.

Sayeed said the people of the state in general and the contemporary young generation in particular had suffered immensely because of the continuing conflict and the time had come for Kashmir to heal its wounds and regain the place of pride, it once had, on the economic and intellectual map of the world.

Rejecting the basket-case perception of the state, he said given its rich natural and human resources, the state's economic distress is more because of a conspiracy of circumstances than the lack of development inputs.

"I strongly believe that in the next few years, Kashmir will come out of the shadows of economic isolation providing our young generation a level playing field for the much-needed growth," he said

Reiterating PDP's stand on declaring Kashmir a free-trade zone, Sayeed said as a logical corollary to the increased accessibility to the State by rail, road and air transport and opening of trans-ceasefire line movement of people and goods, this becomes even more practicable and full of opportunities.

"PDP's vision of a politically stable, economically viable and self-reliant Kashmir can be converted into a reality with a joint and concerted effort by New Delhi and the state government, the public and private sector, multilateral funding, foreign direct investment and last but not least participation by the people of the state," he said.

Sayeed said Bandipora is a historic town connecting Kashmir valley with the traditional Silk Route. He called for reopening of Bandipora-Gurez-Astor-Gilgit road connecting Kashmir with Kashghar to rejuvenate the valley's historic and traditional connection with Central Asia and Chinese Turkistan.

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