Strikes hit J&K economy, political solution must: Omar

Frequent strikes were hurting the economy of J&K, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said.

Kangan (J-K): Frequent strikes were hurting
the economy of Jammu and Kashmir and all stakeholders,
including separatists, should realise their responsibility
towards the society and find a political solution to the
issue, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said here today.

Lockouts and hartals only lead to retrograde effect on
all fronts, he said adding that the "stakeholders of peace in
Jammu and Kashmir, including separatists, should realise their
responsibility and role towards society and political issues.

"Those who think that continuous hartals and disturbances
will pave way for any solution of the problems are in a make-
belief world," he said adding, such tactics only affect the
"education of students and the economy of the poor without
yielding any results".

Omar said dialogue is the only way forward to find out a
solution to the problems and this platform is available to
every shade of opinion to put forth his viewpoint across the
table in a amicable and peaceful manner.
He was speaking at his first "Awami-Mulakat" (meet the
people) programme here.

Omar had recently announced that he will hold meetings
with general public at sub-division level and began today with
Kangan, an assembly constituency which sees the highest voter
turnout but is notorious for being a transit area for
terrorists coming from north Kashmir to central and southern
parts of the Valley.

Omar said he represents people of Jammu and Kashmir in
New Delhi and advocates their cause at all forums. "I am not a
person who speaks one language in Delhi and another at
Srinagar. I am firm on my political and economic commitments
to the people," he said.

The Chief Minister said that his government raised the
issue of AFSPA and vehemently advocated its amendment and
gradual removal with the improvement in the situation. "Only
in my regime, a Commandant of BSF was arrested and handed over
to police for alleged human rights violation," he added.

Referring to the inauguration of railway link at Qazigund
last year, the Chief Minister said, "I was categoric in making
it clear in front of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA
Chairperson Sonia Gandhi that Kashmir is not an economic issue
but a political one and needs addressing politically.

"I have reiterated the same time and again at various
national forums including National Development Council (NDC)
meeting recently," he said and added that he will continue to
stress on it.



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