The J&K Government on Monday welcomed Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement that neither the Army nor the militants will achieve their goals through the gun in Kashmir.“It is a welcome announcement coinciding with a similar assertion made by General Rawat’s Pakistani counterpart General Qamar Javed Bajwa. It is something the people of J&K, entangled in violence, have been longing for years,” Minister for Works and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar said on Monday.Akhtar said the coalition government’s persistent endeavour right from the beginning had been to see that the people of the state were pulled out of the quagmire of death and destruction. “It is now for all stakeholders, even those with differing political ideologies, to join this new moment of peace and reconciliation through emerging positive discourse,” he said.Akhtar said those people trying to seek political objectives through the gun must realise that when violence enters a discourse it not only destroys the lives, but the social fabric, economy, culture and civilisation of the same 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 that 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 society in order to ensure sustainable peace in J&K.Meanwhile, the state’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday also praised the statements made by the army chiefs of India and Pakistan over Kashmir and termed it “a ray of hope for the end to the insurmountable predicament of the entire South Asia”.The party, which governs the state with the BJP, said the opening of the channels of dialogue was the “only way forward”.Mansoor Hussain Sohrwardy, PDP general secretary, said the statements of the army chiefs of the two countries showed that they “have realised how futile the use of force is when it comes to the resolution of the issues”.“Both countries should take immediate measures to de-escalate the violence, open more routes, initiate talks with the stakeholders and ensure successful people-to-people contact on both sides of the border and the LoC,” Sohrwardy said in a statement.The statements of both army chiefs have been welcomed by political groups and leaders in Kashmir, including separatists.Sohrwardy said the leadership of both India and Pakistan must listen to their army chiefs. “Extraordinary political sagacity and astuteness has to be displayed to finally actualise the dream of a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.CPM legislator MY Tarigami and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz have also appreciated the statements of the army chiefs. Tarigami said the suggestions of the two chiefs that dialogue was the way forward now needed to be backed politically.