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Ceasefire violations cannot be without consent of Sharif: Omar

October 25, 2013 18:44 IST

Hitting out at Nawaz Sharif over the ceasefire violations, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday maintained that these incidents cannot be without the consent of the Pakistan prime minister.

"As the prime minister of Pakistan, the violation of ceasefire cannot be without his consent," Omar told a large gathering of affected people in the border belt of R S Pura belt of Jammu district.

"If that is so, then what is the use of talking friendship and dialogue by the Pakistan Premier," he asked.

Omar said if Sharif wanted to go the "extra mile" to make peace with India, he must ensure there is no ceasefire violation.

"I appreciate that Sharif wants to walk the extra mile, and if he really wants to walk the extra mile, let him make sure that the ceasefire holds," he said, adding, "That's the only extra mile he has to walk."

Omar said he failed to understand when Sharif talked of peace and resolution of issues amicably through dialogue, why Pakistan indulged in violation of ceasefire.

Expressing deep concern over the ceasefire violations, the brunt of which has to be borne by civilians living near the border and LoC areas, the chief minister said, "This is in nobody's interest but only endangers life of people in border areas."

Noting that ceasefire maintenance is not the responsibility of one country, Omar said, "When there is fire from one side, the other side will obviously retaliate."

He also said, "It is difficult to understand how on the one hand the Pakistan prime minister can continue to talk about normalisation of relations and at the same time, my people are spending nights in bunkers.

"...today for the first time I am getting demands for new bunkers to be constructed. That in itself tells you what the situation is."

Over 130 ceasefire violations have been reported so far this year, the highest in the past eight years.

Referring to the ceasefire violations, Omar said, "Whether this is with the approval of Pakistan government or the Pakistan government is not being considered or consulted when this sort of fire is opened, I don't know."

Asserting that he was one of the strongest supporters of dialogue between India and Pakistan, he described the present situation as "extremely difficult" and said, "The onus is on both the nations to create an atmosphere of a dialogue.

"You cannot expect only one to keep talking about talks and on the other side ignoring it...If Nawaz Sharif really means what he is saying, if he wants to walk the extra mile, then walk the extra mile," he said.

Omar said the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan in 2003 was the highest gift for the people living on International Border and LoC who used to face great trouble due to shelling and firing.

He said despite bitterness developing between India and Pakistan on many occasions due to the militancy and terrorist attacks, the agreement stood firm and for the last ten years borders and LoC remained peaceful and tranquil.

The chief minister expressed hope that peace and tranquility will be restored on the borders and LoC, enabling people to live a normal life.

He praised the border area population for showing highest degree of bravery and for safeguarding the borders.

Earlier, the chief minister interacted with affected families and heard their woes regarding damage caused to life, property and agriculture by the shelling.

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