Omar Hails Obama’s Kashmir Remarks: Pak, Separatists Need To Look Inwards

Omar Hails Obama’s Kashmir Remarks: Pak, Separatists Need To Look Inwards

8 November 2010
The Indian Express


Srinagar: Welcoming US President Barack Obama’s comments on Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the time had come for Pakistan and separatists in the state to “look inwards” for a solution rather than expect the US to “do their job for them”. Omar, who was the only Chief Minister invited to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s private dinner on Sunday night in honour of Obama, said the President’s statement that the US could not impose a solution was a “telling indicator” that for resolving the vexed issue of Kashmir, India and Pakistan would have to find a solution acceptable to the majority of people of J&K. “Perhaps the time has come for both Pakistan and separatists to look inwards for a solution rather than expect the US to do their job for them,” Omar told PTI when asked for his comments on Obama’s remarks after summit talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “His statement that the US cannot impose a solution is a telling indicator that for resolving the vexed issue of Kashmir, the only parties are India and Pakistan and that they have to find a solution that is acceptable to the majority of people of the state.” Obama also said separatists in the state “need to do some soul searching” since they were unable to internationalise the Kashmir issue to their satisfaction after five months of a protest calender and loss of more than 100 precious lives. “Perhaps it’s time for them to reorient their strategy and stop making people suffer,” the Chief Minister said. Earlier, on the reopening of civil secretariat and other durbar move offices in Jammu, Omar disapproved of any third party mediation on Kashmir. “What role I would like to see President Obama or any US administration to play is the one that they have been playing from time to time, that is to facilitate the process between India and Pakistan,” he told mediapersons. “We are extremely sensitive to anything that even appears to be closer to mediation and that is obviously not acceptable to us.” “So really, if the US wants to help then it can try and get Pakistan see things from our point of view and help the process from behind the scenes,” he said, adding that “we can also expect that they do not look at India through the prism of their Afghan-Pakistan policy”. Referring to his meeting with the US President, the CM said he shared some moments with Obama and his wife and had been able to tell them a little bit about Jammu and Kashmir. He also invited them to visit the state. On Obama not making any reference to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Omar said, “To see what he has to say about Pakistan as well as terrorism in the region, it is important that we wait for the joint statement, if any, which will be released by both the governments of India and United States, and President Obama’s speech to Parliament.”


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