Jammu: Stating that peace was "prerequisite" for development, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today strongly pitched for reconciliation with Pakistan.
"Peace is prerequisite to development, peace means reconciliation with our neighbours," Sayeed told the Assembly in his concluding speech on the last day of Budget Session.
"We cannot dictate the government of India with regard to its foreign policy but we say that reconciliation with Pakistan is prerequisite for peace and development," he said.
Mufti said Pakistan had shown some sincerity when it helped rescue Indians who were stranded in war-torn Yemen. "Pakistan brought our people out from Yemen and sent them back to India through Karachi," he said.
He said the mandate given to BJP in Jammu, Congress in Ladakh and to PDP in Kashmir Valley has provided a historic opportunity to bring people together.
The chief minister said he would work towards brining all the "internal stakeholders" on board and the process would take some time as the government has to work towards more confidence building measures.
Mufti said he wanted to connect people of all the three regions of the state. "It (formation of PDP-BJP alliance) took us two months. Politics is an art of conviction. Our alliance (with BJP) is not a weak thread alliance. Our aim is to connect people of Jammu and Kashmir, I talked to many people and those who came onboard were welcome...," he said.