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Must address political issues, says Omar Abdullah

By Mukhtar Ahmad
July 03, 2010 01:12 IST

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah Friday said no amount of economic development and prosperity would suffice unless matched with the political aspirations of people of the state.

"I firmly believe and have repeated time and again that the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be assuaged only by development, good governance and economic packages, we need to address the political aspects of the problem as well. And for that I appeal to all the stake holders to join hands with us so that together we can work for a better tomorrow which will not only bring peace and dignity to the state, but also peace in the sub-continent," Omar said in a statement in Srinagar on Friday evening.

He said, "We should jointly work to find a solution to the Kashmir imbroglio and facilitate a dialogue between India and Pakistan as well as a dialogue between the centre and various shades of opinion in the state. We must work together to find a solution which can lead to lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir as per the aspirations of the people of this great land. The party I belong to is for autonomy, but I have time and again reiterated that while we have put a proposal of autonomy at different fora, we are not averse to move beyond it, if there is a solution other than autonomy that is acceptable to both India and Pakistan and meets the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said the statement.

Omar said that 'certain elements are hell bent upon disturbing the peace and quiet and causing discomfort to the people of Jammu and Kashmir'. He warned that his government "will fight these forces politically and administratively and shall not let their nefarious designs succeed". He appealed people of the state to come together to restore peace in Kashmir.

"People of Kashmir are a part of my flesh and blood and I appeal to all the people of Jammu and Kashmir to rise above political affiliations and ideologies, come together and work with us to ensure that order and peace are restored in the troubled parts of the valley,"  

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
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