Jammu: Asking Indian and Pakistani government to fast-track implementation of confidence building measures, the PDP on Friday said it was necessary if the dividends of peace process are to last and reach the common man.
"The credibility of the entire peace process is at stake and unless the two governments (India, Pakistan) come over the hawkish elements in each country to implement major decisions taken by them, the painstakingly built effort could breed renewed cynicism in the state with serious implications", Sayeed said while addressing a gathering of people.
Mufti said it was sad that the governments of India and Pakistan had failed to implement the decisions taken by their foreign ministers more than a year back to carry forward the original vision of bringing the two sides closer through trade, travel, joint ventures and cultural exchanges.
He said there was no reason as to why the two governments should take so long to implement the decision to open more routes in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions, increase bus frequency, remove hassles in providing permits and more importantly extend the facility to all categories for tourism and pilgrimage purposes.
"It is time the implementation of these decisions is fast tracked if the dividends of peace process are to last and reach the common man to build permanent stakes in peace and friendly relations", he said and asked the national leadership "not to test the patience of the people of the state".
The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kahsmir, who was speaking on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the launch of historic Karvan-e-Aman between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, referred to the situation that had prevailed in the state when the peace process was launched by Atal Behari Vajpayee.
"Vajpayee picked up the vibes from Srinagar correctly and embarked on a bold process amid clouds of war and the initial support it received from the UPA leadership broke the hardened mindsets of the security establishments which had held the state hostage for decades," he said and called for employing similar statesmanship by the leadership "to take it out of the groove".
He said the trade across LoC is not just about exchanging potatoes for pulses but it has an important historic, cultural and economic perspective.
"PDP wants opening up of all traditional routes through Kashmir, Jammu, Ladakh and Kargil regions and lifting curbs on travel and trade to create an Economic Free Zone (EFC) across the state that with its tremendous natural resources could become one of the most affluent regions of the country," he maintained.
He said there was an urgent need to provide proper banking and communication back up for the trade to flourish.