Omar flays attacks on Mirwaiz, Bilal

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 00:52

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah today deplored the attacks on moderate Huriryat
Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq saying it was against
the democratic traditions of the country.

"It is against the democratic traditions of the country
where freedom of speech, no matter how unpalatable it is, is a
right which needs to be respected and protected," the Chief
Minister said in a statement here.

He said "the strength of our democracy is in its values
of tolerance and to allow a fearless expression of dissent
only strengthens the democratic fabric of the country".

"Our democracy is a matured democracy and is capable of
absorbing political dissent and diverse view points and so we
should provide every individual an opportunity to air his or
her opinion in a democratic manner," Omar said.

He said the right to debate, disagree and reject
anybody’s views is also an inherent part of democracy but the
rebuttal must be decent and the response and disagreement must
be civil and best expressed in a democratic fashion.

The Chief Minister said the Mirwaiz and his colleague
Bilal Gani Lone, who have both been victims of militancy
having lost their father?s to terrorists bullets, have been a
part of a dialogue with the union government from time to
time.

"Such incidents only defeat the peace-making effort
and it should be the endeavour of all that they remain part of
the solution and not get pushed to the wall so as to become a
part of the problem," Omar added.

-PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 00:52

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