Omar Abdullah Asks Separatists To Hold Talks With Interlocutors6 January 2011
Times of India
Srinagar: Accusing separatists of adopting double standards on dialogue for the resolution of Kashmir issue, chief minister Omar Abdullah asked them to hold talks with the Centre's interlocutors, saying the panel is not bound by redlines. 'I am surprised that the separatists can talk to Parliamentarians, who have taken oath of Indian constitution and treat Kashmir as an integral part of the country. What is the harm in talking to the interlocutors, who have no boundaries or redlines,' Omar said addressing a public rally at Pahalgam, 100 kms from here in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. Omar said the separatists should hold talks with the three interlocutors appointed by the Centre as their recommendations go to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 'I want to tell (hard line Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah) Geelani that these double standards (on dialogue) will not work,' he said. The Centre appointed veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and former Information Commissioner M M Ansari as interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir in October last year, following the summer unrest in the Valley, to interact with all sections of the state for finding a lasting solution to Kashmir issue. Omar said the interlocutors have made a 'good beginning' and have changed the discourse of dialogue in the state. The Chief Minister, while talking to reporters, responded to queries about the power crisis in Kashmir valley and urged the people to use electricity honestly and judiciously. 'People go to mosques to pray but when they return home, they indulge in power theft. Consumers pay for one bulb but use four. They can use as much as they want but they should also pay accordingly,' he said. Apparently referring to the criticism of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Omar said no new power projects were taken up between 2002 and 2008, when the National Conference was in the opposition. 'Since coming to power, we have initiated some new power projects in collaboration with NHPC. I do not claim that all the power problems will be gone but during the term of my government, these will be substantially reduced,' he said. On alleged infighting among party workers in Pahalgam, the chief minister asked them to overcome their differences and work for strengthening the party. 'We do not follow personalities in National Conference ... we work under a flag,' he added.