Welcoming Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's statement on the Kashmir issue, the Jammu and Kashmir government Monday said that this was the expression of the overwhelming sentiment in the state.
It is a welcome announcement coinciding with a similar assertion made by General Rawat's Pakistani counterpart, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and it is something the people of J&K, entangled in blood-spattered violence, have been longing for years, Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar said.
General Rawat recently said the radicalised youth of the valley would soon realise that the gun was not the solution to their problem as neither security forces nor terrorists would achieve their goals through it.
Peace, he said, was the only way to improve the situation in Kashmir that had been witnessing militancy for about three decades now.
Mr Akhtar, who is also the government spokesman, said it had been the present coalition government's persistent endeavour right from the beginning to see that the people of the state are pulled out of the quagmire of death and destruction.
It is now for all the stakeholders, even those with differing political ideologies, to join this new moment of peace and reconciliation through emerging positive discourse, he said.
Mr Akhtar said that those trying to meet political objectives through gun must realise that when violence enters a discourse it not only destroys the lives, but the social fabric, the economy, the culture and civilisation of the society that perpetuates it.
Guns have not solved any problem or issue in the world and only dialogue and reconciliation is the way forward, he said, adding there was a need to build on the Army Chief's statement and strengthen the process by initiating more political measures and engaging every section of the society in order to ensure sustainable peace in the state, he said.
Dignified peace through reconciliation, he said, was the only way to improve the situation in Kashmir that had been witnessing death and destruction for about three decades now.