Condemning the twin terror attack in the state on Thursday, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the attacks were aimed at derailing the proposed talks between Indian and Pakistani prime ministers.
Suggesting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should proceed with the peace initiative, Abdullah said calling off the dialogue would strengthen the “adverse elements'' who want to scuttle peace talks between the two countries.
Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in Washington this weekend, the first such top-level dialogue in three years.
He called the attacks, first of its kind in Jammu province in the last 11 years, “dastardly” and expressed solidarity with the families of the police officials, civilians and army men killed in the attacks. He said, “Given our history and given the timing, as well as the location of this attack, the obvious aim is to derail the proposed dialogue between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan.”
Three army men, four police officials and two civilians were killed in terror attacks in Kathua and Samba districts of the state. An encounter is still underway between the terrorists and army personnel at an army camp in Samba district, about 290 km from Srinagar.
“These are forces which have always been inimical to the interests of people in Jammu and Kashmir and always tried to derail any peace process that was thought to be initiated between India and Pakistan. They have always wanted to keep the ongoing turmoil in the state alive. This is clearly a step in that direction,'' he added.
While stating that the attacks will lead to political pressure to resist any further movement in the dialogue process, Abdullah expressed hope that Singh will go ahead with the proposed talks. “While it is for the Prime Minister and his advisors to decide how to proceed further in this matter but we have always supported a peaceful resolution of problems in the state,'' he said.
Abdullah suggested that the militants involved in the attack were probably part of a “recently infiltrated group. The area where the first contact with these militants was established is in close proximity of the international border besides the area is not known to harbour militants, shows that the infiltration must have been with 24 to 12 hours.”
He also refused to blame the Pakistani government for the attacks saying the attacks could have been orchestrated without the knowledge of the civil administration in Pakistan.
The chief minister said state police chief and senior bureaucrats have been sent to the affected areas to evaluate the situation. “We will be calling a unified command meeting either on Thursday evening or Friday morning to assess security lapses if any,” he added.