Indian-controlled Kashmir chief minister favors reconciliation with Pakistan

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) –Indian-controlled Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Friday said reconciliation with Pakistan was only option for peace in the restive region.

“There is no option but reconciliation with Pakistan, as prolonged confrontation with Islamabad adversely hampers development in state,” Sayeed said while addressing a presser in Jammu city, the region’s winter capital. “Talks with Pakistan is part of our agenda of alliance. During former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure, we had peace with Pakistan and tranquillity on borders. I am hopeful, we will be able to create similar atmosphere.”

Sayeed’s statement has come days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Srinagar.

Analysts said Sayeed felt disappointed after Modi ignored extending hand of friendship to neighbouring Islamabad and saying he does not need anyone’s analysis or advice on Kashmir.

Sayeed heads a coalition government with Hindu hardline Bhatriya Janta Party (BJP) in the region.

A separatist movement and guerilla war challenging New Delhi’s rule is going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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