Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today welcomed the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, expressing hope that the two countries would succeed in removing trust deficit to firmly entrench lasting peace in the region.
“I remember what former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that countries can change friends not but neighbours. Both New Delhi and Islamabad will have to resolve the issues to allow peace to return on borders and the LoC (Line of Control),” Sayeed said.
The Chief Minister was speaking after attending an Attestation-cum-Passing-Out-Parade of the 12th Batch of 385 trainee recruits at Police Training School at Manigam in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
Sayeed said it is Jammu and Kashmir which bears the brunt of violence when guns roar on the borders between the two countries.
“I hope that both India and Pakistan will work to strengthen the existing mechanism so that peace holds and prevents regular flare-ups, which play havoc with those residing close to borders and the LoC,” he said.
Sayeed said that when he became the Chief Minister of the state for the first time in 2002, Kashmir resembled a prison where people felt a sense of incarceration.
“Our initiatives to bring people out of despondency were just like a breath of fresh air. We will tread the same path this time also,” he said.
Referring to the exodus of refugees, who are escaping violence in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa, to Europe, the Chief Minister decried those forces who preach the language of violence in the name of religion.
“The time when one needed to prove his superiority with atomic bombs and guns is over. It is an age where people are fighting battles to improve benchmarks in progress and development,” he said.