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UN bickering setback to peace: Mufti

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
September 30, 2003 14:11 IST
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Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has said that unfortunate developments during the United Nations General Assembly session have greatly "disappointed the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who were looking towards improvement in Indo-Pak ties".

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"These developments have given a setback to the process of normalisation between two countries. I am, however, confident that our Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is known for his statesmanship and as a crusader for peace, will not withdraw the hand of friendship that he very boldly extended to Pakistan from the soil of Kashmir in April," the Mufti told the provincial conference of his Peoples Democratic Party.

"I am sure our prime minister is not on defensive," he said, adding, "his courageous move had kindled a new hope among the people of Jammu and Kashmir for finding a lasting solution to Kashmir imbroglio."

The CM accused Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf of making the UN an arena of rhetoric. "Utterances" at the "international level are always given by leaders with a sense of responsibility and purpose, and not mere rhetoric to vitiate developing atmosphere".

He said Pakistanis wanted people on both sides of the border to live in peace.

"Despite people's desire to improve ties with India, the Pakistani generals continue to think otherwise," the Mufti said.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar