Omar Attacks Separatists In First Rally Since Unrest

Omar Attacks Separatists In First Rally Since Unrest

29 September 2010
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Addressing his first public rally since June 11, when the current round of unrest began in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah termed the Kashmir issue a political problem that needed a political solution. He also blamed the separatist leadership for all the killings that have taken place in the Valley in the past three months. Omar held the rally in Ganderbal, his constituency, amid elaborate security arrangements and curfew in several areas to check protests. People were frisked at five places before being let inside. The Chief Minister arrived in a helicopter to address a crowd numbering a thousand plus, that had been waiting four hours. Omar said he had sought the mandate in the 2008 Assembly elections on development issues and never made a promise to resolve the Kashmir issue. Welcoming the eight-point package announced by the Union Government on J&K, Omar said the group of interlocutors to be appointed by the Centre would interact with all shades of opinion. Attacking the separatists, Omar told them to bear in mind that their “Quit Kashmir” slogan has failed to deter a single Army, Police or CRPF personnel. Except Kashmiris nobody has quit the Valley in the past three months, he said. The Chief Minister said: “Neither can we buy any solution for Kashmir, nor can we force anybody to accept the resolution. The Kashmir problem can be resolved only through negotiations, in which every party - the people of Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan - needs to be taken on board.” Omar claimed that as Chief Minister, he had continuously and categorically advocated political addressing of political issues. “I also campaigned vigorously for restoring internal and external dialogue channels to find a lasting solution to all issues as per the aspirations of the people.” Criticising the separatist “Quit Kashmir” call, the Chief Minister said it had only caused problems for the Valley, leading to strikes, closure of businesses and loss of jobs for more than 50,000 Kashmiri youths. “Many people left the Valley as they could not send children to schools. Banks and insurance companies shifted their offices to Jammu. Railways closed operations...”. He said separatists were taking the Valley towards “slavery” by keeping students from education.


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