Osama issue: Omar hopes Indo-Pak dialogue will not be affected

Last Updated: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 18:48

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah on Monday expressed hope that certain remarks made
by India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the killing of
al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden will not have an effect on the
dialogue process between the two countries.

"It has taken lot of efforts to put back the dialogue
process back on track after Mumbai attacks. I do not think the
Osama issue is going to affect the dialogue process (between
the two countries)," Omar told reporters here.

The Chief Minister said it would be "very unfortunate"
if the dialogue process is affected.

"There was talk of warnings (from Pakistan) against
any misadventures from our side but to begin with we were not
thinking of any. It is not only our hope but our demand that
the dialogue process should not be affected," he said.

Army chief General VK Singh and Air chief PV Naik
had said that Indian armed forces were "competent" to carry
out an operation similar to the one conducted by the US in
Pakistan against bin Laden.

Pakistan army and the government had reacted sharply
warning India against any Abbottabad-like "misadventure",
saying it would be responded to "very strongly" and could lead
to a "terrible catastrophe".

India had said the "momentous" killing of bin Laden in
Pakistan will not change the discourse of Indo-Pak dialogue
but made it clear that use of terrorism as a policy to further
strategic goals was "unacceptable."

On media reports about links between Hizbul Mujahideen
and al-Qaeda, Omar said, "There was no way to independently
verify the veracity of the reports".

"In the two-and-half years of my chairing the Unified
Headquarters (the top security body in Jammu and Kashmir), I
have not come across any evidence suggesting links between
al-Qaeda and militancy in the state," he said.

He said although there was undoubtedly an external
dimension to the militancy in the state, there was no evidence
to show links between the global terror outfit and the
militants operating in the state.

On the Kashmir issue, Omar said the dialogue process
between various stakeholders should be expedited.

"The internal dialogue process, which is currently
going on, need to be expedited. Efforts should be made to
widen its ambit as people of the state are hopeful for the
resolution of the long pending (Kashmir) issue," he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 18:48

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