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N Ireland peace process can `inspire` J&K settlement: Omar

Last Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 19:24

London: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is of the view that the State can never be independent and will always remain under Indian sovereignty, but believes that Britain`s Northern Ireland peace process and devolution in Scotland could "inspire" a future settlement.

The state is landlocked and lacks natural resources, Omar said in an interview to the UK`s Telegraph newspaper, underlining why it can never be fully independent.
But the peace process in Northern Ireland and the devolution in Scotland could "inspire" a future settlement in which "sovereignty is not threatened but you recognise the nationalist sentiment that exists and you evolve that," he is quoted as saying.

Omar was referring to a deal in Northern Ireland in 1998 which led to a power-sharing government after prolong violence and the devolution in Scotland under which Britain created a Scottish Parliament with powers to make laws on a range of issues.

The Chief Minister was angry at the Pakistan army`s attempt to "sabotage" peace talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York last month.
He blamed Pakistan`s army for the upsurge in cross-border attacks this year and cited the infiltration of four insurgents who crossed into Jammu and attacked the police station and an army camp killing a high-ranking army officer and three soldiers. He saw that as an attempt by the Pakistan army to sabotage the Singh-Sharif talks.

The newspaper recalled that Omar was born in Essex in the UK and quotes him as saying that his British background had given him a "broader outlook on life" although there were disadvantages too.

"There are those in my line of work who quite happily use this against me, and suggest because I was born here (the UK), I have no business being in politics here (Kashmir)," Omar said.

First Published: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 19:24
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