Expressing optimism over the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi to Lahore, a Kashmiri politician said that it was the result of the foreign policy of the government and would pave the way for further warmth in the bilateral ties.

“Despite reported hard and harsh criticism of certain political opponents and a section of the electronic media, Nawaz Sharif steadfastly continued his reconciliatory efforts through international political forces to convince India that bright and prosperous future of the Subcontinent lies in the trusted and good neighbourly relations between both the countries,” Justice (r) Majeed Mallick, the president of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation League while talking to this correspondent.

Abdul Majeed Mallick, also the retired chief Justice of Azad Jammu & Kashmir High Court, continued that the recent visit of the Indian prime minister to Lahore was of course a great achievement of the foreign policy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Elaborating his views, the Kashmiri leader said that the visit to Lahore had received appreciation in two countries and abroad. He observed that the changed move in the policy was obviously a positive step towards reconciliation between India and Pakistan and a step forward towards comprehensive move for settlement of the outstanding issues – including the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir. “Irrespective of biased political criticism of opposition, the top leadership of both the countries must cease the opportunity and take bold steps to finally settle the outstanding issues including the Kashmir conflict, the prime bone of contention between the two countries,” he said. Justice (r) Majeed Mallick strongly insisted that fortunately, the political atmosphere, at present, was very conducive and helpful in settlement of the old Kashmir issue in line with the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He reminded both the leaders of India and Pakistan of the aspirations of freedom of the people as both the countries attained the same after supreme sacrifices made during the last century from the British occupation.

He said that both India and Pakistan were deeply committed to their stance on Jammu & Kashmir but the fact remains that both the countries publicly profess their support to the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He added that in that background, it not be difficult for the leadership of both the countries to offer concession in their stance and agree to reunification of the state and to withdraw bulk of their forces as first step and to allow free movement of the people of the Jammu & Kashmir throughout the state.

“This primary concession,” he observed, “would not be a defeat of either of them rather it would amount to win-win position for both of the countries.” Mallick said that the people of Jammu & Kashmir under the changed attitude and conducive atmosphere rightly expect that India and Pakistan would, indeed, put their heads together and reach a settlement acceptable to the three parties – Pakistan, India and Kashmiris.