A delegation of Kashmir lawmakers on a goodwill trip to Pakistan
The Omar Abdullah government is sending a delegation of lawmakers to Islamabad on a "goodwill" mission and New Delhi is said to back the idea.
Officials privy to the developments said about 15 representatives of the entire political mainstream would be chosen. Presiding officers of the twin houses and their secretaries are certain to be part of the proposed delegation.
"The proposal of sending a delegation was sent to the central government well before Pakistan went for the polls in which PPP was routed," a senior officer in the law ministry told ET. "The selection of the members of the delegation is yet to be made," the officer said.
Reports appearing in the vernacular media suggest that the proposal has been approved by the central government, but dates of the visit are yet to be fixed.
The visit assumes significance in the wake of Nawaz Sharief expressing his keenness to pick up the threads of the peace process from where he had left off.
If the visit takes places, it will be historic as no such delegation has formally gone to the other side after the erstwhile Kashmir state was sliced into J&K and PoK after the first Kashmir war in 1947-48.
A number of lawmakers have relatives on the other side, but visits are made purely in personal capacities. In the last few years, a number of PoK lawmakers, former rulers and top judicial officers have visited Kashmir when the two countries opened twin windows on the Line of Control.
The delegation is expected to take the LoC crossing point rather than the Wagah route, people familiar with the matter said. Earlier, moderate Hurriyat leaders had used this route to visit PoK and it was treated as a major development by the international media.