Omar for comprehensive dialogue between India, Pakistan

Omar for comprehensive dialogue between India, Pakistan

29 March 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Jehangir Rashid

Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that India and Pakistan should hold comprehensive dialogue to solve Kashmir issue. He said that Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has already shown his willingness to visit Pakistan in order to break the ice and solve Kashmir issue. Talking to media persons after inaugurating the Tulip Garden here, Omar said that both the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir issue need to be addressed. He said internal dimension of the issue can be solved by holding threadbare discussion on the interlocutors report adding that external dimension can be addressed if talks with Pakistan head in the right direction. 'The Centre has already shown its willingness to solve Kashmir issue and the Prime Minister has also given his nod. He has made his intentions clear by saying that during his visit to Pakistan he would try to break the ice so that some headway is made in solution of Kashmir issue. Hopefully the dialogue between the two countries would be fruitful in solving the issue,' said Omar. The Chief Minister said that broad based discussion should be held on the interlocutors report adding the delay would not be good for the overall dispensation of this dimension of the Kashmir issue. He said people need to be taken on board and it is possible when the report is discussed and deliberated. 'As of now the interlocutors report stands submitted to the Home Ministry. The report needs to be discussed so that wider consultations are held. The report should not be put in the backburner as it would give a wrong impression to the people. The report would address the internal dimension of the Kashmir issue and it needs to be evaluated,' said the Chief Minister. Omar expressed his regret that he could not fulfill his promise of partial revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. He said that since the army was intrigued in some controversies the revocation of AFSPA was not possible. He added that the issue is likely to get importance since the issues are likely to be resolved soon. 'It was my wish that AFSPA is revoked from certain areas of State but the same could not happen. The army was found involved in many controversies and once these issues are sorted out then I am hopeful that some decision would be taken about the revocation of AFSPA from some areas,' he added. Omar said that political connotations should not be attached with the revocation of AFSPA adding the issue should be viewed through the prism of humanity. He said revocation of AFSPA would provide a sigh of relief to the people and they would feel relieved. He added that nobody should have objection over the revocation of AFSPA. The Chief Minister said that militancy incidents would not impact the ground situation in Kashmir valley adding that the tourist inflow too would not be affected by militancy related incidents. He expressed his disappointment that militants have not abjured violence and also did not join the peace process. 'In the past militants were asked to shun violence and join the mainstream so that some solution is found out. But these people didn't do so and carried on with their militant activities. The time has changed a lot now and the recent militancy related incidents would not affect the situation in the Valley,' said Omar. Referring to the inauguration of Tulip garden, the Chief Minister said that the floriculture department was forced to open the garden early even though the tulips are yet to bloom. He said tulip garden has added a new dimension to the tourist season in Kashmir valley adding tourists don't want to miss out of visiting the garden. 'The flowers are yet to bloom and this would take some more time. The tourists who visited the tulip garden urged the floriculture department to open the garden early. As the tulips would bloom there would be very good rush of the people and the tulip garden would attain its magnificence,' said Omar.