Separatists must talk to Centre to resolve Kashmir issue: Omar

Last Updated: Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 22:18

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah on Sunday said separatists in the state should enter
into a dialogue with the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"If they (separatists) can hold talks with
parliamentarians and the Pakistan High Commissioner (in
Delhi), what is the problem in talking to the Central
government," Omar said, addressing a gathering at the
mausoleum of his grandfather and National Conference founder
Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah on his 105th birth anniversary.

"Dialogue is the only way out and they should enter into
talks with the Centre," he said, adding, nothing can be
achieved by resorting to violence by stone-pelting, killing
people or burning school buses.

Referring to the BJP`s criticism over his remarks on
Kashmir in the state Assembly in September, the Chief Minister
said, "I have said it in front of Prime Minister (Manmohan
Singh at Qazigund) and reiterate that Kashmir is a political
problem. Funds can help in mitigating the problems and meeting
the development needs of the people only," he said.

Omar had said that Kashmir had acceded to the Union of
India and not merged with it, which was widely criticised by
opposition parties, especially the BJP.

Addressing another function in connection with the NC
founder`s birthday, Omar said the recent unrest in Kashmir
Valley had badly affected the economy of the region and
thousands of people had lost their livelihood.

He expressed apprehension that some people might try to
create further unrest in the Valley during the next summer.

"For the last three years, whenever the tourist season
approaches here they (separatists) ask for shutdowns. We have
seen this in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Now they must be preparing
(to do so) for June 2011, but we will use all our efforts so
that they do not succeed in it," he said.

The Chief Minister blamed the opposition Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) for remaining indifferent to the
suffering of the common people.

"I am talking about my own people who are in the Assembly
with us. When there is a semblance of normalcy, they say this
is deception, fraud. They say this not the ground situation.

Instead of working for peace so that more tourists come, they
are doing the opposite," Omar said.

"That is why I repeat until we find a solution to this
issue, we should not add more miseries to the people," he
added.

Omar said this year Kashmir had more than five lakh
tourists but the five months of unrest destroyed the season.

He said the Valley would be teeming with tourists if the
situation improves here.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 22:18

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