Sunday, April 8, 2012

Zardari visit reflects maturity

Voicing hope that President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit would mark the start of a "sustained" process to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said it would be a "forward movement" if the Pakistani leader comes to J&K. Omar said the fact Pakistan has not harped on "Kashmir first" reflected the "maturity in our relations"."J&K issue has long threatened our relation. The fact that it hasn’t been talked about that much does not mean it is not an important issue. But it hasn’t hijacked the dialogue," he told reporters.

Omar said though he had not expected too much from the visit, there "is now a possibility that we can have a sustained engagement process" with the ultimate aim of resolving all issues.

On Zardari visiting Kashmir, the J-K Chief Minister said, "I think it is long overdue. I would like to be able to visit Mirpur and Muzaffarabad and I think for President Zardari to be able to come to J&K would also be forward movement."

Omar also recalled that Zardari had said, when they last met in Pakistan before he became President, that he would visit Kashmir when he comes to India the next time.

In a lighter vein, Omar said that he had bet him a rupee that he won’t be able to keep his word.

Earlier, Omar had tweeted: "Kashmir is off the menu today; no gushtabas :-)", referring to the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Pakistani guests.

While welcoming the PM’s visit to Pakistan, he said there has to be a right occasion. "It is not going to make for very appealing visuals if we have the Prime Minister in Pakistan on one side and Hafiz Sayeed addressing a rally on the other side of the TV screen".

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