India-Pakistan peace vital for Kashmir: Mufti Sayeed

Srinagar, Aug 15 (IANS) Kashmiris will be the biggest beneficiary if India and Pakistan go for a dialogue to achieve reconciliation, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said on Saturday.

After unfurling the national flag at the Bakshi Stadium here on Independence Day, Sayeed — who took power in March — also spoke of peace and development in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

The event was held under tight security amid a shutdown called by separatists that hit life in the Kashmir Valley.

Sayeed said the ruling alliance between his Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party was formed to bring the three regions of Jammu, Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley together.

“The is the only possible alliance to bring the three regions together. Our agenda is development and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities,” he said.

“We are committed to strengthening trade and people-to-people contact across the borders,” he said, referring to Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

The chief minister went on: “Peace through dialogue and reconciliation is the only way forward between India and Pakistan whose biggest beneficiary would be the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

No untoward incident was reported on Saturday from the state, where ministers took salute at various district headquarters.

Separatists called for a shutdown in the valley.

Mobile phone services remained suspended till the main flag hoisting and parades ended in different places in the valley.

Security officials said the phone services were temporarily suspended to ensure no remote controlled devices were used by the militants.

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