Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today hailed Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi and said the two leaders have showed that they will not allow hawkish elements to set the agenda for ties.
“Two very important steps have been taken. One Modi inviting Sharif and second, Sharif accepting the invitation. Both decisions, to invite and the acceptance were not easy. We appreciate both decisions,” Omar told reporters here.
He said some people in Pakistan had expressed reservations about Sharif’s visit to India and had even issued threats that the Pakistan Premier get a “one way ticket”.
“They (two leaders) have shown that they will not allow forces inimical to good Indo-Pak relations to grow and not allow them to set the agenda, which is a good thing for both the countries, especially Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
The Chief Minister said Modi meeting his Pakistan counterpart on the first day at work was a good sign in respect of Jammu and Kashmir as building relations between the top leaders of the two countries sometimes takes a long time.
“May be Modi meeting Nawaz on the first day at work will beneficial for us as they are trying build relations from the first day which otherwise, we have seen, takes lot of time. By then there is change in either India or in Pakistan and the process has to be started a fresh.
“Now that Modi and Sharif have decided to meet, we will hope that there will be improvement,” he said.
Omar said if Modi and Sharif are able to work together, Jammu and Kashmir will be a “natural” beneficiary of this development.