SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan has been received with optimism in the Valley with separatist leaders and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed welcoming the move.
Sayeed, undergoing treatment in Delhi, welcomed the visit. “I am delighted by Modi’s visit which will further strengthen the bonds of friendship and usher in an era of peace and stability in the region. This is an evolutionary process and step in the right direction. It indicates Prime Minister’s resolve to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan,” a spokesman quoted him as saying.
Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the visit a positive move. “People of Kashmir welcome any opportunity that bring India and Pakistan close ,” he said. A spokesman of hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said the meeting was nothing new.
Former CM and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said engagement with Pakistan is a good step and called for consistency instead of “grand gestures”.