Welcoming United States President Barack Obama's comments on Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said that time had come for Pakistan and separatists in the state to "look inwards" for a solution rather than expect the US to "do their job for them."
Omar, who was the only chief minister invited to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's private dinner on Sunday night in honour of Obama, said the President's statement that the US cannot impose a solution was a "telling indicator" that for resolving the vexed issue of Kashmir, India and Pakistan will have to find a solution that is acceptable to the majority of people the state.
"Perhaps the time has come for both Pakistan and separatists to look inwards for a solution rather than expect the US to do their jobs for them," Omar told PTI when asked for his comments on Obama's remarks after summit talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"His statement that the US cannot impose a solution is a telling indicator that for resolving the vexed issue of Kashmir, the only parties are India and Pakistan and that they have to find a solution that is acceptable to the majority of people of the state," the chief mninister said.
At the same time, Obama said separatists in the state "need to do some soul searching" since they were unable to internationalise the Kashmir to their satisfaction after five months of a protest calender and loss of more than 100 precious lives.
"Perhaps it's time for them to reorient their strategy and stop making people suffer," the CM said.
Obama said earlier it was in the interest of India and Pakistan to reduce tensions between them and the US cannot impose solutions to these problems.
Omar's father and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said the statement of Obama should now at least open the eyes of the people of the state and they should stop playing in the hands of separatists.
Known for his tough-talk on terrorism, the senior Abdullah said terrorism is not limited to India but was a world problem and that the entire countries of the globe should rise and point fingers at the country which is sponsoring terrorism and the regime responsible for it.
"I am hopeful that the PM must have conveyed to the US President to take strong measures against the menace of terrorism," Abdullah said.
Meanwhile, separatists put their own spin on Obama's comments by saying that the US President's statement was an admission that Kashmir is a longstanding dispute.
Moderate Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said "though Obama has said India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue, he has not ruled out role of US categorically. He referred to Kashmir as a longstanding dispute, which is vindication of our stand."
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who has been denied visa to the US for his support to violence, also claimed that it was victory for them as Obama's reference to Kashmir has given international endorsement to the territory as being disputed.