Throwing a challenge to opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP), Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday offered support of his 28 legislators to the opposition and asked it to come up with a concrete solution to the Kashmir dispute.
"You have 21 assembly members. I will provide you the support of my 28 MLAs. You will have 50 seats with you. Let you come forward with a certain and categorical solution to the Kashmir issue," Abdullah said in his speech made in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
The statement comes days after PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed claimed that he would resolve the issue if he had 40 seats in the state assembly. The state is set for assembly elections next year.
Taking pot shots at the PDP's claim, Abdullah said, "What a lie are you telling to people? People have understood your only agenda of grabbing power by hook or crook. The public is wiser enough to be led astray by you time and again."
Offering to relinquish his seat if the PDP could pave the way for a solution to Kashmir with 40 seats, the chief minister said, "The PDP leadership should read the writing on the wall written by the masses for writing this party off from the political arena of Jammu and Kashmir."
He described the PDP claim as "mere slogans and false promises to attract public attention". "The 60-year-old Kashmir issue could not be solved by the long struggle spearheaded by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. It could not be solved by the four wars fought by India and Pakistan. It could not be solved by 25 years of militancy and disturbance. It could not be solved through summits and dialogues. How could anyone with 40 seats resolve it with a blink of an eye?" Abdullah asked.
He criticised PDP leaders' statement claiming that Pakistan had no role in the Kashmir issue and said, "The role of Pakistan has been established in Kashmir on several occasions." "You (Sayeed) were once talking of double currency. What is this new tone? Are you doing it to appease New Delhi," the chief minister said.
Abdullah said the leaders of India and Pakistan "should talk and talk in the right direction and perspective to resolve this issue once for all".
"We want to tell our children that the Kashmir issue no longer exists, and peace and development have taken the permanent place here," Abdullah said while asking for resumption of dialogue between the two neighbours.
He said the government or any political leadership here was not in a position to resolve issues between India and Pakistan. "Some elements do not want India and Pakistan to talk. They want the issue to remain burning for their vested interests," he said, adding that his party would continue to work for facilitation of the dialogue.