Will Remain CM For 6-years: Omar

Will Remain CM For 6-years: Omar

10 June 2011
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Dismissing the speculations of rotational Chief Minister in JK after January 2012, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Friday, said 10-Janpath hasn’t given any such indication and he would hold the post till the coalition government completes its full term. “There is an agreement between Congress and National Conference and according to that I’ll remain the Chief Minister for full 6-years,” Omar said. On the recent statements by various Congress leaders about there would be change of guard Omar said, “Till you don’t hear it from 10-Janpath don’t believe it. This chapter was closed in January 2009 only when I took over.” “In Bhasoli Jammu Sonia ji recently said that Congress stands by the agreement,” he said. On current political situation in Kashmir, Omar said, “This year by the grace of Almighty things are calm at the moment. Attempts are made from time to time to vitiate the atmosphere by giving strike calls. But fortunately people are not responding to these calls. They want normal life. They want children to go to schools and want tourism to thrive. I hope it will continue.” On contradiction between state government and Army on infiltration issue, the Chief Minister said, “There are no contradictions. I had said it that time that inputs from CID and IB suggested so. But that had not been verified by the Army or multi agency center in New Delhi which approves the final figure. I had made it clear that Army doesn’t agree with these figures. So there is no question of contradiction,” he said. Asked why government imposed section 144 in the City recently despite situation being normal, he said, “I think you need to check the facts. Section 144 is a routine matter and has been imposed over the last few years. Please check with the Home Department. The imposition of this section is not a new thing. It has continuously been happening for the last few years. Every two to three months it comes for renewal and it gets renewed.” Omar declined to comment on the question of proposed cabinet expansion and reshuffle. “There is no scope for expansion. And on reshuffle and filling of three vacant cabinet berths, I’m not in a position to suggest any time frame. When it is necessary we will do it.” On allegations of opposition Peoples Democratic Party and separatist leaders that state government was not allowing peaceful demonstrations in Kashmir and recent incident when a human rights activist Gautam Navlakha wasn’t allowed to enter the state, he said, “I don’t really care whether somebody is being allowed to come or not because my commitment isn’t with the one person but with entire population. I can’t allow people to come here and disrupt situation. I didn’t allow it in January with Tiranga yatra.” “If some one is interested to come here let him come in October and spend whole winter here. They remember Kashmir only in summers. Ram Jeth Malani sahib was missing for 5-years. When temperature soared in Delhi, he rushed to Kashmir. Let Guatam Navlakha sahib come here in winter, I’ve no problem.” Asked whether he would make any effort to reach out to the separatists, Omar said, “I’ve no problem in meeting them. I think there problem is in meeting me. They don’t meet anybody except those who will give them nothing.” On the performance of NC in ongoing Panchayat elections, he said, “In most areas it is highly satisfactory. Some areas are a cause for concern us. It is an important assessment of where do we stand.” In lighter vein he said, “Newly elected sarpanchs and panchs attend functions of all the parties and tell them we are with you. They are being used like Bakshi sahib’s 40 lakh with us and 40 lakh with them.” Asked what steps his government was taking to settle Kashmir issue politically, he said, “We are working with interlocutors. There can’t be a better time than this to settle Kashmir. It is true that relation between India and Pakistan isn’t that cordial this time and post Osama killing has to be assessed. But on internal front if we miss the opportunity, we will have to pay for it later.” “If we have to achieve something it has to be achieved from the central government through interlocutors. Ambassadors of other countries who visit here can’t give us anything. But unfortunately some of our leaders aren’t willing to meet them (interlocutors),” he added. Omar lauded people for participating in large numbers in the ongoing Panchayat elections. “Despite all odds, people voted in large numbers. In area like Sopore more when more than 50 percent people exercised their franchise credit must go to the people,” he said. On unemployment issue he said, “It is true it has not been solved and it is also true it can’t be solved fully ever. Till private sector will not come here, unemployment will remain. We can’t give government jobs to every one. But unfortunately last year’s uprising had a bad impact on private sectors entry to Kashmir. Opening of Taj Hotel recently has sent good signal to corporate world outside. If situation remains calm this year, I’ll try to woo private players to invest here again.” On house arrest of Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, he said, “If Geelani sahib wants readymade audience outside masjids on Fridays, I’ll not allow that. I won’t allow anybody to disrupt peaceful environment in Kashmir. Geelani sahib is free to go anywhere on other days. Wherever Geelani sahib went on Fridays, stone pelting started.”


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