Omar for resumption of talks with Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah advocated resumption of dialogue with Pakistan as well as separatists to resolve political issues.

Last Updated: Aug 15, 2013, 15:20 PM IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday advocated resumption of dialogue with Pakistan as well as separatists to resolve political issues facing the state.

"Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem and can be resolved only through a process of dialogue. We have to start the dialogue process both internally as well as bilaterally (with Pakistan) for addressing this issue," Omar said in his Independence Day speech at Bakshi stadium here.

The Chief Minister said there were some sections of people who maintain that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal problem and there is external dimension to it.

"If it were an internal matter, then Shimla, Lahore and Agra talks would not have happened," he said, underlining the importance of involving Pakistan in talks for resolving the issue.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif should take steps for earning each others` confidence to carry forward the dialogue process between the two countries.

He also expressed concern over the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan saying such incidents were not good for the dialogue process.

"When the two leaders (Singh and Sharif) are meeting on the sidelines of the UN summit, you (Pakistan National Assembly) pass a resolution and force us to pass a resolution (too)," he said.

Omar was referring to the resolution passed by Pakistan`s National Assembly on Tuesday accusing Indian troops of "unprovoked aggression" on the LoC and extending support to the "struggle" of the Kashmiri people.

In retaliation, Parliament yesterday rejected the resolution, saying the violations along the LoC were done by the Pakistani Army and dismissed as "absolutely baseless" the allegations against Indian Army.

Omar said gun cannot deliver solution to any problem.

"You violate the ceasefire, our people suffer. We retaliate, your people suffer. Guns cannot be a solution," he said.

The Chief Minister said the hostilities along the Line of Control have not brought the two countries any closer to a solution and instead pushed them further from it.

On the internal front, Omar called for implementing recommendations by various panels like the Working Group appointed by the Prime Minister and interlocutors for addressing other issues confronting the state.

"We have to show the people that we do not engage with them only when the situation is bad. We have to tell them we talk to them the most when there is peace. The reports should be implemented," he said.

PTI