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Send interlocutors fast, Omar tells Centre

October 07, 2010 00:33 IST

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday urged the Centre to immediately nominate interlocutors who could start a meaningful, result-oriented dialogue with all shades of political opinion in the state.

"The group should not be of bureaucrats or retired officers but comprised of political persons having full knowledge of Jammu and Kashmir. The team should come with open mind and interact with people in Kashmir, Jammu, Leh and Kargil," Omar Abdullah said in the state assembly.

The chief minister said because of the unrest, businessmen, doctors, engineers and students had already left the Valley. "Besides, loss of precious lives, infrastructure from Tangmarg to Mendhar has been destroyed. The total brunt has to be borne by the Kashmiris. The loss of education by the students is now the talk of the town. You can imagine how much loss we have incurred in all sectors, especially tourism."

Omar said during his tenure as chief minister 35,000 security personnel had been withdrawn from the state.He said that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India through an agreement but not merged with it.

Concluding the two-day debate on the prevailing situation in Kashmir in the state assembly, Abdullah said, "The accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India has occurred under an agreement. We have not broken that agreement nor we have taken it back but you have gradually demolished it and people are aggrieved and angry for your this act. We both were required to uphold and respect the agreement. Many say that much water has flown down the Jhelum since then. We also agree, but it is still a fact that Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India is under an agreement and it is not the merger."

In support of his argument that the state had not merged with the rest of the country, Omar Abdullah said that 'union home minister had rightly stated that Kashmir is a unique problem needing a unique solution'. The chief minister said only internal dialogue with separatists and other shades of the opinion is not sufficient unless a sustained dialogue is started with Pakistan in this connection.

He said "The Kashmir issue is not any issue of development or the issue of governance. It is the issue between the two countries in which the people of Jammu and Kashmir are being crushed", he said adding that 'this issue cannot be resolved by the development process or by providing employment to the people'.

Omar said 'successive governments in New Delhi have accepted that all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir will be discussed'. He said 'the issue and the unrest in the Kashmir is not any issue of governance as being propagated and circulated by certain quarters'.

Omar Abdullah warned 'the consequences of not addressing the political issue of the state politically' and said, "Don't blame me for future consequences on this count".  He said 'either we have to work sincerely to stop this unrest and bloodshed once for all or we will be contributing to the unabated disturbances and killings'.

"We have lodged an FIR against five policemen in Anantnag for violating the human rights and they will be handed  punishment in the due course of law. Similarly, we have initiated actions against those involved in use of excessive force and accused of human rights violation, in the past and will continue to give justice to the people in future. It is my duty to ensure justice to all and till I am sitting on this chair, I will do so", he said.

The chief minister said that 15 out of 16 bunkers identified for removal have been dismantled in Srinagar. The chief minister also clarified that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party had started the agitation but added that 'the party decided to be the part of the problem and not the part of the solution'.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar