NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR - Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit yesterday said that solution of Kashmir issue will itself solve many problems between Pakistan and India.

In an interaction with journalists for a TV programme, he said that India and Pakistan should strive to solve their basic differences whereas both the countries would have been living in peace if the Jammu and Kashmir dispute had not existed.

On a question regarding the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim, Basit replied that India itself is not clear in this matter as they changed their stance now and then.

When asked about the economy of Pakistan, the High Commissioner stated that issues in India have yet not resolved with millions of people living below the poverty line. Basit also said that talks regarding hot pursuit and strategic strikes are made in India which is entirely inappropriate. Meanwhile, Indian Police arrested Kashmiri trade union and freedom fighters after they called a daylong strike to protest a lack of help given by the Indian government to victims of the worst flooding seen in the region in more than a century. The strike was a success despite the arrests, a sign of growing disappointment in Indian held Kashmir at relief efforts after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was initially praised for his swift response to the floods that killed more than 300 people and devastated half a million homes. Shops, schools and businesses were closed in several towns in the troubled region on Monday - the first anniversary since rivers burst their banks.

Buses and taxis were also off the roads. Police arrested at least six trade union leaders in nighttime raids and placed senior Hurryat including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik under house arrest.

“We detained some of the trade union leaders as a preventive measure to stop them from leading protest marches,” a senior police officer said. “We have also put some of the separatist leaders under house arrest to prevent violence.” To prevent people gathering on Monday, the police closed off the main shipping district in Srinagar, where a protest planned.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah criticised the government’s response. “All these people wanted to do was register their dissatisfaction at the absence of any meaningful flood relief,” he said. The puppet government in Indian-held Kashmir has asked Modi’s government for aid worth 440 billion Indian rupees ($6.6 billion), but that money is yet to be approved. So far, the central government has spent $750 million to help the flood victims and repair damaged infrastructure, according to the local government. The misery has added to problems of the administration in a Muslim-majority region where a revolt against Indian rule has simmered for nearly a quarter century. Paddy farmer Abdul Gani Bhat lives with his family of five in a tin shed after his home was washed away. He says he has not received enough government money to rebuild it. “The prime minister promised to rehabilitate us during the elections,” Hassan said of the state polls in December. “We need help so we can build a roof over our heads.”

Nirmal Singh, Kashmir’s deputy chief minister and a member of Modi’s ruling party, told reporters that the central government will announce a big aid package soon. “The government is working out where the money will be spent,” he said. “It will come soon.”