Muzaffar Baig, deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said on Tuesday that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, will join hands with the Congress to contest assembly elections to be held in the state in September.
"Of course we expect to join hands with the Congress party and return to power. There are others parties who are also in the fray," Baig told rediff.com. He claimed that infiltration has come down in recent months, which is one of the biggest achievements of the Congress-PDP government. The coalition government will complete its six-year term in September.
The state will host the 5th Winter Games from Feburary 17 to 22 in Gulmarg and over 500 participants are expected to take part in the winter skiing festival held there.
Baig said that if recent developments had not taken place in Pakistan, the two neighbours would be fairly close to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue.
"India needs a strong Pakistan. Someone asked Suresh Kalmadi, president of the Indian Olympic Association, when the Indians were going to leave Kashmir, to which Kalmadi said that no one could ever ask him to leave as Kashmir is part of the Indian nation. I endorse his view; Kashmir is part of India and will continue to remain so in the future," he said.He hoped that Pakistan would be able to participate in the winter games to be held in Gulmarg in 2009 and he hoped that by that time, the state would be able to improve on the infrastructure.