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Omar Abdullah threatens to quit over JK violence
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August 17, 2008 19:21 IST

Threatening to quit Parliament if 'excessive force' was used against protesters in Kashmir, National Conference chief Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that a sustained dialogue between the coordination committee of various separatist groups and Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti could resolve the shrine land row.

Coverage: The Amarnath Row

"If police continue to use excessive force, then it will be difficult for people like me to continue in Parliament," the National Conference leader said.

"Talks between the coordination committee and the Sangarsh Samiti should be a sustained one to find an acceptable solution to the crisis generated by the land transfer row," he told reporters.

In Jammu, a tangled tale is written in blood

On a statement by hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to all Members of Parliament to resign or face social boycott, Abdullah said, "I respect the elderly Geelani but would like to ask him what he (Geelani) was doing when Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was spearheading a movement in Kashmir."

Abdullah said the crisis could not be resolved in one go. "The talks cannot be fruitful if the dialogue between the two sides is held once and resumed after 15 days. It should be a sustained dialogue," he added.

When will the window of peace open?

He said the present crisis in the state was a result of misgivings about transfer of land to the shrine board. "The people of Jammu are now claiming that they have been discriminated against by successive governments during the past 60 years. It can all be sorted out provided we are able to sit and talk," Abdullah said.

The NC president said the recommendations of working groups set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had not been implemented.

'We didn't anticipate such a reaction from Jammu'

Regarding the three points listed by moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for return of peace, he said the three points raised by the Mirwaiz were no different from the recommendations of the working groups.

The Mirwaiz on Saturday demanded opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and other roads across the Line of Control [Images] for trade, withdrawal of troops and revocation of some laws.

"There are voices of reason and Delhi [Images] should take advantage of them," Abdullah said, adding, "We have never been opposed to talks with Hurriyat or separatists for resolution of the issue."

'J&K unrest is the handiwork of politicians'

Abdullah said the solution to the Kashmir issue lies in talks between the governments of India and Pakistan, keeping in view the sentiments and aspirations of the people of J&K.

Condemning the excessive use of force against the peaceful demonstrations in Kashmir, he said, "We appreciate security forces exercising restraint in Jammu while dealing with the agitators and we want a display of similar restraint in Kashmir."

He said the people of Kashmir should be allowed to give vent to their anger and grievances and no step should be taken which will sabotage the peace process.

Jammu is not for burning

The NC president urged the Centre to resume talks with separatists and mainstream parties to find a solution to the Kashmir issue.

Regretting the 'economic blockade' in Kashmir, Abdullah lashed out at the Centre for allowing it. "Those who describe Kashmir as the crown of India should not have allowed it (the economic blockade) to happen," he said.

BJP unapologetic about role in Amarnath row

The NC president said Kashmir is a political issue and should be resolved politically. "It (Kashmir) is not an issue of gun or money power. Maybe there is some influence of guns and money but it is, in fact, a political issue and should be resolved politically," Abdullah said.

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