Srinagar, April 20 (PTI): Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today termed Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to the Valley as “historic” and lauded the Prime Minister for making a serious attempt to address the Kashmir issue.
“For the first time, a Prime Minister has not only made a serious attempt to address the (Kashmir) issue from the soil of the Valley but also extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan,” Mufti said in an interview.
The chief minister said Vajpayee endorsed his government’s healing-touch policy and struck a cord with the people of the Valley when he said he was here to share their sorrow. The people had been longing to hear these words, Mufti said.
Vajpayee gave a message to the world that he was here to solve all issues, the chief minister said. “The visit of the Prime Minister was a great success” and historic, he added.
The Prime Minister, Mufti said, had made it clear that the gun was no solution to any problem and sooner or later talks would have to begin.
The BJP today took a U-turn on its Kashmir policy with party chief M. Venkaiah Naidu congratulating the Prime Minister on a “highly fruitful” visit to the Valley. Naidu had earlier been bitter about Vajpayee’s offer of friendship to Pakistan in Srinagar on Friday.