Attacks aimed at derailing Indo-Pak talks: Omar Abdullah

Condemning the "dastardly" twin terror attacks, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said they are aimed at derailing talks between Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2013, 23:40 PM IST

Srinagar: Condemning the "dastardly" twin terror attacks, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said they are aimed at derailing talks between Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

"Given our history and given the timing as well as location of the attacks, one thing is obvious that the aim of these terrorists is to derail the proposed dialogue between the Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Pakistan," he told reporters here.

Omar said the forces inimical to interests of Jammu and Kashmir have always tried to derail the peace process between India and Pakistan and the terror strikes were a step in that direction.

"These (attackers) are forces that have always been inimical to the interests of Jammu and Kashmir ...That have always tried to derail any peace process that is sought to be initiated. They have sought to keep the turmoil in the state on. This is another step in that direction," he said.

Militants in army fatigues this morning stormed a police station and an army camp in Jammu region killing eight people including a Lieutenant Colonel.

Prime Minister Singh and Sharif are scheduled to meet on Sunday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

Omar said there will be political pressure on the Prime Minister not to move ahead in the dialogue process with Pakistan but any such move will mean a victory for the perpetrators of the attacks in Kathua and Samba.

"Clearly there will be political pressure brought to bear on the Prime Minister to resist any further movement in the dialogue process. Obviously, it is for the Prime Minister and his advisors to decide how to proceed further in this matter.

"As far as we in this state are concerned, we have always been committed to a peaceful resolution of all problems that have existed in this state and we hope that it is the course that is followed," he said.

The Chief Minister said it will be an injustice to those brave soldiers and civilians who laid down their lives if the dialogue process is stalled due to the strikes.

"They did not lay down their lives to allow the terrorists to succeed in their designs. They laid down their lives for peace," he said.

The Chief Minister said Pakistan needs to be told in clear terms that it cannot be business as usual if such attacks continue.

"But we need to convey this message sitting face-to-face with them," he said.

Omar condemned the twin attacks and expressed condolences to the families of those killed including the security force personnel.

"I condemn this dastardly attack in Kathua and Samba regions of Jammu.I would like to express my sincere condolence to the families who have lost their loved ones in the attacks -- both the civilians and the police personnel who were killed in the initial attack at Samba and the army personnel in the attack at Kathua," he said.

Replying to a question, he said there is a lot of speculation about how the attacks took place.

"The area where first contact was established and its proximity with the international border and the fact that these areas are not known to harbour militants, indicates that it was a recently infiltrated party.

"Given what we have seen over the past 20 years, I would speculate that this group had infiltrated within last 24 hours. I doubt that they had been there any longer than that," he said.

Asked if Pakistan was playing a double game by seeking dialogue and infiltrating militants at the same time, Omar said it would be wrong to speculate whether the infiltration took place with the active knowledge of elected leadership of Pakistan.

"We do know that from time to time, (the) forces inimical to dialogue have sought to derail the process even though the Pakistan government has thrown its weight behind such a process.

"We have seen even when (then President) General Pervez Musharraf was committed to dialogue process, there were forces who tried to derail this process," he said.
The Chief Minister said he has rushed the Director General of Police Ashok Prasad and Home Secretary Suresh Kumar to Jammu.
"I will be also going to Jammu at 1.00 PM. I will be convening the meeting of the Unified Command (Headquarters) either this evening or early tomorrow to discuss the matter. We will see if there were any lapses and the steps needed to plug those," he said.

PTI