Srinagar: Local body elections in Jammu
and Kashmir will be held as per schedule in October and the
state government will make every effort to reduce the
"influence of the gun", Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told an
all-party meeting to discuss the situation in the state.
During the meeting called by Omar yesterday, leaders
of various political parties expressed their support to the
Chief Minister in restoring peace in the Valley, sources said.
Omar said his government was looking at conducting
local body polls like panchayat and municipal bodies in
October and November so that the benefits of governance
trickles down to the grass-root levels.
"This way, we will have a vested interest among the
people at large to have normalcy," the sources quoted Omar as
Welcoming the move, leaders said this would help in
creating another buffer zone.
The Chief Minister noted that he had taken over the
reins of power when relations between India and Pakistan were
at the lowest ebb.
"New Delhi and Islamabad were not talking in the
aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. Over a period of time,
progress has been made in the ties and I am hopeful that the
two countries will talk more and more with each other," he
He asked all political leaders to make efforts in
helping reduce the influence of the gun in the society.
"Violence is no answer. And if we have to reduce the
influence of the gun, a political dialogue with all shades of
opinion as well as with Islamabad is a must," Omar was quoted
as saying by the sources.
Extending support to Omar, leaders of various
political parties said that at no point should anyone
undermine the position of the Chief Minister.
In a veiled attack on PDP, which kept away from the
meeting, State Congress President Saif-ud-din Soz, said, "We
may have differences but right now the time was to overcome