Srinagar: Notwithstanding opposition from various quarters, especially the Army, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said his government is working for the removal of draconian laws including the AFSPA from certain areas where it was not required.
Addressing a mammoth gathering at the tomb of his grandfather Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, Omar also told separatist groups that they should start negotiations with the Centre and work for a solution to the Kashmir issue.
"We have always highlighted the importance of settling all issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir through a sustained internal and external dialogue process. Our endeavour in this direction will continue," he said before thousands of people, who had assembled at the Mazar of Sheikh on occasion of his 105th birthday.
Omar criticised people who create problems that affect the day-to-day life of the people by propagating negative thinking.
The last five months had pushed the economy of the Valley to the wall, made traders, businessmen, transporters and others paupers and snatched the bread earning capacity of labours and daily wage earners, he said.
"The disturbance reversed the pace of development, marred the education and made students stone pelters," he said, and ridiculed the negative approach of dealing with issues of political nature.
The turnout at the function was huge and the first such political rally after a violent summer this year.
The Chief Minister said his Government had underlined the necessity of addressing political issues of the state in a political way from the day one of assuming office.
"We raised this importance at every forum within the state and outside the state," he said and referred to Home Minister P Chidambaram`s statement regarding application of unique strategy to solve the unique political issues in Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar said his Government was making every effort to maintain peace and calm and accelerate the pace of development that received set back during the last five months, especially in the education sector.
"I am advocating and working for removal of AFSPA from the areas where it is not required. We have also released more than 1200 youth arrested for stone pelting besides removing dozens of bunkers?, he said.
He made it clear that every possible measure would be taken to make the situation palatable and peaceful for economic and political activities.
The Chief Minister also said the separatists in the state should enter into a dialogue with the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue.