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Pro-India politicians, separatists in Indian-controlled Kashmir welcome Nawaz Sharif's victory


19:09, May 13, 2013

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The pro- India political parties as well as separatists in Indian- controlled Kashmir Monday welcomed Nawaz Sharif's victory in Pakistan general elections and expressed hope that Islamabad and New Delhi would restart a process of dialogue on Kashmir.

"I want to congratulate Nawaz Sharif on behalf of my party and the people of Jammu and Kashmir for his brilliant victory in the general elections in Pakistan," said Omar Abdullah while addressing a public rally at a Pattan village. "We hope and pray that the change of guard in Pakistan will pave way for good relations between India and Pakistan."

Former prime minister and head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif is all set to head the government following his landslide victory in Pakistan's elections. Nawaz had previously run the country during two terms prior to his removal by military chief Pervez Musharraf in 1999 military coup after he attempted to remove Musharraf as he returned from Sri Lanka.

The Indian-controlled Kashmir Indian Congress party chief Saiffudin Soz said Pakistan elections had finally been completed successfully instead of threats by the extremists."It is a welcome situation and now that the people of Pakistan have elected a government with majority, the country will not remain a fragile polity," Soz said.Congrerss party and National Conference are running a ruling coalition in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The region's main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has expressed hope that establishment of a stable government in Pakistan would help pick up the threads of peace process once again.

"The democratically elected stable government in Pakistan was a critical element in carrying forward peace process and Jammu and Kashmir has major stake in its revival," said Sayeed.

With 63-year-old Nawaz Sharif all set to return to power for the record third time, the separatist leadership of Indian- controlled Kashmir want him to take up the Kashmir issue on priority basis.

"Support for the right to self-determination of Kashmiris was national policy of Pakistan and Sharif should keep his support at that level," said hardliner Hurriyat (freedom) Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani. "Pakistan is a party to Kashmir issue and they know well what their policy is and should support that," Geelani said.

Sharif's government will be facing challenges including growing extremism, energy crisis, economic crisis and uneasy relations with the United States ahead of the withdrawal of the NATO forces from Afghanistan.

"Sharif had promised that he will evolve a mechanism to ensure the active involvement of people of the State as principal party to Kashmir issue," Mirwaiz told media.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik while congratulating Sharif said that he and his government should not put Kashmir issue on the back burner.

"We expect from Sharif and his government that they will work for Kashmir resolution on priority basis. He should ensure active involvement of people of the State as a principal party in the process of negotiations and also try to evolve a consensus on Kashmir between various political and religious parties of Pakistan," Malik said.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their Independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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