Opposition Peoples Democratic Party today voiced hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will restart the dialogue and reconciliation process with Pakistan and the state will be made a center stage for SAARC cooperation.
"I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi restarts stalled the process of dialogue and reconciliation that was initiated at the level of the then deputy prime minister L K Advani under the (Atal Behari) Vajpayee led government," PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said addressing a party convention in Ganderbal district of Kashmir.
Reiterating the party's resolve of making Jammu and Kashmir an epicentre of South Asian cooperation, Mehbooba called upon India and Pakistan to end their differences to bring about lasting peace in the region.
Mehbooba said there was a need for a sustained dialogue between different shades of public opinion in the state and the Centre, and between New Delhi and Islamabad, for a dignified solution of Kashmir issue.
The Lok Sabha member from south Kashmir said resolution of J&K issue is a must to realise peace and development on the ground.
"PDP, with the support of people, has a pivotal role to take the state out of the present quagmire," she said.
Mehbooba said that SAARC cooperation should begin from Jammu and Kashmir and the state should become a model of the economic integration among all these neighbouring countries.
"Jammu and Kashmir can become a model for a free economic zone wherein all the neighbouring countries invest and the state could reap the economic dividends, which would result in creating livelihood on a mass scale.
"There is no better place than Kashmir to start the Handicrafts University proposed by the SAARC countries, which has historically been the hub of handicrafts and traditional arts in the entire world," Mehbooba said.
"While the NDA government has expressed its willingness to engage with all its neighbouring countries including China, what better way than to restoring the old silk route that connects the whole region," she said.
The PDP president said that though Kashmir issue needs apolitical solution, bad governance, corruption and unemployment has further complicated the issue thus creating enormous instability and insecurity among the people.
Mehbooba said that the recent Parliament election results are an indication that the people want a change.