14 Dec :Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the Centre was ready to implement Panchayati Raj in Jammu and Kashmir according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state."I know that people of Kashmir desire that there be flexibility in politics of the state. There is talk of autonomy and self-rule in the state," he said addressing an election rally organised by JKPCC in Khundroo on Sunday.
While National Conference considers granting of greater autonomy as a possible solution to the Kashmir issue, its arch rival, PDP sees implementation of "self-rule" in the state as a solution to the issue.
Singh, however, neither rejected nor accepted the two formulas but said it was Congress government which brought Amendments to Articles 73 and 74 to bring self-government to villages and towns in the country.
"This type of change is to carry forward the Panchayati Raj. We are ready to implement this (panchayati raj) in Jammu and Kashmir as per the wishes of people of the state", the Prime Minister said.
PDP praises PM on cross-LoC cooperation
Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion that his govt was committed to carrying forward cross-LoC cooperation, the PDP on Sunday said it would help create space for reconciliation in the region and put the peace process back on track.
"We welcome the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion that India was committed to resolving the Kashmir issue through dialogue. The civil soceity in both the countries need to respond to the emerging challenging situation so that the peace process is put back on the track", PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said.
Addressing a series of poll rallies at Dooru and Homshalibugh constituencies of Anantnag, Sayeed described it as an "appropriate and fitting response to the mature, civilized and non-violent expression of aspirations by the people of the state".
"Singh’s reiteration that his Government is committed to carry forward and expand the process of cross-LoC cooperation and trade in Jammu and Kashmir would help create a new space for reconciliation in the region," the former chief minister said.
"Indo-Pak cooperation is the key to resolving the region’s problems and Kashmir would have a pivotal role in cementing those relations," he said.
Addressing an election rally in Khundroo, the Prime Minister had said "we cannot change the borders but lessen the restrictions on travel between the two countries.
"More links with Pakistan would be reopened for greater people-to-people contacts and to improve trade relations," Singh said.
Referring to the massive voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, Sayeed said the faith reposed by the people of state in peaceful and democratic means for the resolution of their problems, necessitates concerted reciprocal initiatives from Centre to address their concerns.
"Through a genuine and sustained confidence building process".
"The scenario should not make us complacent about the problem having disappeared without addressing it," Sayeed said.
The PDP patron said the fast-changing equations in the region reiterate the urgency of embarking on such broad-based political engagement in the State for the resolution of problem.
"Such a purposeful engagement would also isolate the forces of violence and disruption in the state and the region," he said.
Expressing shock and anguish over the firing on protesters at Koil in Pulwama district during the fifth phase of polling on Saturday, Sayeed demanded action against erring security personnel.