Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari owes him one rupee because he had bet that the Pakistani leader won't be able to visit Jammu and Kashmir on his India trip.
Speaking in a lighter vein on NDTV news channel, Abdullah recalled how during his visit to Pakistan in 2006 he had taken a bet of one rupee with Zardari that he won't able to visit Kashmir. “He has has not and he owes me one rupee.”
Abdullah said the visit of any Pakistani leader to Jammu and Kashmir was “long overdue”.
Asked if he wanted Zardari to visit Jammu and Kashmir, the chief minister replied: “Certainly. It is long overdue. I would also like to visit Mirpur and Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir).”
On the 40-minute meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Zardari during the Pakistan president's private trip to India, the chief minister said he “was not expecting too much in the first place”.
He said he wanted dialogue process to continue between the two countries.
“Nothing to be disappointed (about the Zardari trip). We wanted a continuous engagement. It is perhaps a possibility where in we can meet and talk...,” he said.
Omar said “Jammu and Kashmir is an important issue between the two countries that has festered for very long”.
“But this time we have not heard jingoism from Pakistan that Kashmir first and everything else later.”
Asked about Manmohan Singh's proposed visit to Pakistan, Omar said the visit is “overdue” but anti-India terror should stop originating from that counrty.
“They will have to find time (for the vist). It won't make appealing visuals when the PM lands in Islamabad and Haafiz Saeed (Lashkar-e-Taiba founder) addressing an anti-India rally in Pakistan.”
Omar also urged the two nations to replace the barter system of trade along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with other financial terms or letter of credits as a new mechanism for commerce between the people of the territory divided between India and Pakistan.