Ceasefire welcome, turn this opportunity for sustained dialogue: Vakil

Srinagar, May 17: President Jammu and Kashmir Bachao Tehreek and former minister Abdul Gani Vakil Thursday welcomed New Delhi’s decision of announcing a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir during Ramadhan, but added that a political back is needed to turn this opportunity into a sustained dialogue.
In a statement issued here, Vakil said that not only for this month, violence should end forever and a meaningful dialogue process should be started.
“Pakistan is a must for this dialogue process alongside the voices with dissenting voices. The political leadership needs to backup ceasefire proposals as perhaps the previous such announcements failed due to the lack of political backup that could have sustained them,” Vakil said.
Vakil said that the need of the hour is to “silence guns” on both sides and to pave way for the peaceful dialogue that would put an end to the prevailing bloodshed.
“The bloodshed on the borders and in the Valley prevailing for the last several years has achieved nothing. It has derailed the efforts leading towards the formation of better understanding,” he added.
Vakil stressed that all the stakeholders need to shun the extreme and rigid positions and find some common middle ground which will take into consideration the genuine political aspirations of all the people involved.
“Violence is not an option. Violence has only extended the sufferings of common and poor people while the children of rich and affluent class are studying in India or abroad in best educational institutions,” he said.
Vakil said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been the worst victims of hostilities in the region for last so many decades.
“History bears witness that Kashmiris have remained at peace through ages. What went wrong needs to be analyzed in a proper way and causes for continued unrest and uncertainty need to be identified and addressed through a credible process of dialogue,” he added.
Vakil hoped that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Kashmir on May 19, would announce a plan for the meaningful process of dialogue.