Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah suggested greater contacts between civil socieities of India and Pakistan, terming it essential for improving relations between the two neighbours.

"There should be greater Indo-Pak inter-society contacts as it is essential for improving relations between the two neighbours", Omar said while addressing a 2-day Jashan-e-Faiz organized by Jammu Civil Society for Art and Literature in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Jammu University here in connection with centenary celebrations of Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s birth anniversary.

"The government's efforts in this direction will only bear fruit when the societies of the two nations contribute positively and willingly and get widely involved in this stupendous task", he said adding civil societies have all the more important role to play to achieve this cherished goal.

Omar said participation and visits by poets, literary persons, artists and other such people from one country to another would give a forward push to the cultivation of more friendly relations between the two neighbours.

The Chief Minister said regular contacts between the members of civil societies of the two countries would also help remove doubts from the hearts and cultivate friendly and cordial atmosphere to live in peace and harmony.

"If Jashan-e-Faiz would facilitate this trend, it would be a great tribute to the world famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz who had great relations with Jammu and Kashmir and its people", Omar said adding late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah stood witness to the Nikkah’ of Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Omar appreciated the initiative of Jammu Civil Society for Art and Literature in this regard and expressed the hope that it would provide further opportunities of exchange of literary personalities, poets and artists between the two countries. "Government would extent full support in this regard", he added.

The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the celebration of Jashan-e-Faiz would inculcate interest in the new generation to study the works of famous poets and give a boost to literary activities in the state. He asked the society to make such events a permanent fixture in their calendar of social activities.

Poets and artists from Pakistan and all over the country are participating in the Jahsan-e-Faiz during which they would recite their poetic works and present artistic skills.