Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Saturday welcomed Pakistan's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Fazlur Rehman's statement on normalizing ties between India and Pakistan.
Both pointed out that it was a reflection of the growing realization in Pakistan that war is no way to resolve outstanding issues.
Rehman had suggested that the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration could be the basis for normalisation of Indo-Pak ties.
Speaking at the national executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Raipur, Vajpayee said the successful elections in J&K was changing the situation to 'our advantage.'
Addressing the Central Police Welfare Committee at Zewan on the outskirts of Srinagar, J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said, "It is good that realisation is fast dawning about the futility of the gun even on the hardliners."
Sayeed said this was a change of heart and a hopeful sign of the accelerating peace process between India and Pakistan.
"The statements of the new Hurriyat Conference chief are also encouraging and a favourable climate is gradually being created in the state for a meaningful dialogue," Sayeed said referring to the election of moderate Shia cleric Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari as chairman of the separatist conglomerate.