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Zardari quelled our apprehensions: Kashmir CM

Nagrota, March 07, 2008:

Chief Minister of Indian administered Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday said that New Delhi was apprehensive about peace process after general elections in Pakistan but Zardari's statement “Kashmir can wait” was a welcome development.

"We were apprehensive that the recently held elections in Pakistan might throw up a government that will reverse the policy of the present government and go back to the old position," the pro-Indian politician Azad told media persons during a visit to the upcoming township for the displaced Kashmiri Hindus at Jagti in Nagrota.

However, Azad said Zardari has spoken what President Parvez Musharraf had been saying for the last few years.

"Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharief had also spoken in a positive tone," he said.

The Kashmir chief minister said that he was happy to find positive change in the thinking of the Pakistani leadership and hoped that they would not change it under any pressure.

"Zardari's statement was a welcome development," he said. "The improvement in bilateral relationship was not only beneficial for India and Pakistan but for the entire world."

Azad said that it was encouraging to see that the change in the thinking process in Pakistan was not restricted to an individual but the country's leadership as such was moving ahead of its stated position for the last 60 years.

He said that India had always been maintaining that relations with Pakistan should not be allowed to be hostage to a single issue.

Azad said that the trade, commerce, tourism, people to people contact and cultural and educational exchanges must go on while dialogue process was on.

In a recent television interview with an New Delhi based news channel CNN-IBN, Zardari said that Indian Pakistan relations should not be “hostage” to Kashmir issue.

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