The Jammu and Kashmir government lauded the government’s move to carry forward peace talks with Pakistan, a day after the foreign secretaries of both countries met. SpokespersonNaeem Akhtar said it holds significance for the entire region, specifically the disputed state, which has been the “main victim of hostilities” between the neighbouring countries.

The state cabinet Wednesday met with newly-elected J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and agreed that the talks held between India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference will be beneficial for the state.

State education minister and government spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said, “The State cabinet welcomes the resumption of foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan and the lead role played by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in carrying forward the peace process, which has significance for the whole region specifically for Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the main victim of hostilities.”

Akhtar added that the cabinet has authorised the Department of Industries and Commerce to look into establishing banking facilities for trade across the Line of Control (LoC). “This follows the go-ahead from the RBI to order the cross-LoC trade through a proper banking mechanism and doing away with the present business system.”The government is also looking at ways to promote border tourism.

Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry met in New Delhi on Tuesday. Jaishankar spoke of terrorism, JeM chief Masood Azhar and the Pathankot attacks while Pakistan raised the issue of Kashmir and the RAW agent’s involvement in terrorist activities in Balochistan—which was denied by Jaishankar.

 

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