M A I N   N E W S

Omar, Mehbooba hope for new India, Pak beginning
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 24
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the opposition PDP and the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference have welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday.

Kashmir leaders are pinning hopes on the scheduled visit as the beginning of a new era that would pave the way for sustainable dialogue and improved relations between the two countries.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the decisions taken by the two leaders “must be appreciated”. It should be hoped that similar positive decisions would be taken in future also. No major outcome should be expected at the very first meeting. He said there was need to guard against expecting anything at this stage. “There is a hope in the months ahead,” he added. Referring to back channel discussions, Omar said these should be taken to a “logical conclusion”.

The hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani has, however, maintained silence over the development. “This is a sensitive policy… we will wait and watch,” Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of the Hurriyat said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the two leaders showed their statesmanship. “They should do something good for the region…. It is a good beginning as the two leaders have adopted a reconciliatory approach,” she said. “It is a very good omen” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, she added. Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, said it was a “right decision” on part of Nawaz Sharif.





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