UK Kashmir March: Agitate in India not in 'cosy capitals', says Omar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the organisers of "Million March" in London this weekend to highlight the Kashmir issue should have held the event in the Valley rather than the cozy capitals of the United States and United Kingdom.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the organisers of "Million March" in London this weekend to highlight the Kashmir issue should have held the event in the Valley rather than the cozy capitals of the United States and United Kingdom.

"I have no problem in these people propounding an ideology, but it would be better doing it from here rather than cozy environs of London, Washington, Paris and places like that," Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Omar, however, maintained that the issue fell in the domain of Ministry of External Affairs while his government was focused on dealing with the aftermath of devastating floods in the state that took place last month.

"This is a matter for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). As far as we (state government) are concerned, we are focusing on the internal situation here. We are focused with relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people," he said.

The chief minister said the organisers of such rallies should come to Kashmir, live here and then organise such rallies.

"It is a fact that the further away these people get from Kashmir, the more involved they get in Kashmir's politics. (They should) come to Kashmir, live here and then do it," he said.

Omar said he had "far more respect" for the separatist leaders in the Valley who organise such rallies here and then face the consequences of the law.

"I have far more respect for those separatist leaders, who actually do it in Kashmir and then face the difficulties that are brought about on account of the law, than those people who sit in cozy capitals like London and Washington and then try and tell the people of Kashmir what they should be doing," he said.

On a question about the United States mobilising funds

for the construction of a hydel power project in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Omar said the MEA needed to take a "long hard look" at it.

"I am not aware of this. But obviously this is something that the MEA needs to take a long hard look at it," he said.

The chief minister said it was strange that the agencies like the World Bank and the US refused to get engaged here and were looking to invest in PoK.

"I think it is extremely unfortunate if agencies like the World Bank refuse to get engaged in this part of Jammu and Kashmir because of the political sort of issue that has been made out of Jammu and Kashmir, it is strange that the US is looking to invest there. I haven't seen much investment on the part of the US on this side of the LoC," he said. 

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