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J&K CM says attack on Mirwaiz against democracy

November 30, 2010 21:46 IST
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday deplored the attacks on moderate Huriryat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq saying it was against the democratic traditions of the country.

"It is against the democratic traditions of the country where freedom of speech, no matter how unpalatable it is, is a right which needs to be respected and protected," the J&K CM said.

"The strength of our democracy is in its values of tolerance and to allow a fearless expression of dissent only strengthens the democratic fabric of the country. Our democracy is a matured democracy and is capable of absorbing political dissent and diverse view points and so we should provide every individual an opportunity to air his or her opinion in a democratic manner," he added.

Abdullah said the right to debate, disagree and reject anybody's views is also an inherent part of democracy but the rebuttal must be decent and the response and disagreement must be civil and best expressed in a democratic fashion.

Mirwaiz and his colleague Bilal Gani Lone, who have both been victims of militancy having lost their father's to terrorists bullets, have been a part of a dialogue with the union government from time to time, he said. "Such incidents only defeat the peace-making effort and it should be the endeavour of all that they remain part of the solution and not get pushed to the wall so as to become a part of the problem," Abdullah added.

The youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday attacked Mirwaiz's car when he was entering Foreign Correspondent's club in New Delhi to attend a seminar.
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