Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the decision to stick to the scheduled meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif despite another attempt by militants to derail the talks through a fresh attack.
"Today, I want to salute Manmohan Singh as he did not let this conspiracy to succeed by leaving the talks table," he said.
Hitting out at those who were allegedly attempting to hamper the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, Omar today said talks were the only means of resolving the issues between the two nations.
"We have been saying that the gun is no solution to the issues. These are political issues and need to be resolved politically, you can't achieve the results through the barrel of the gun. There is no other option but talks," he said.
Referring to the proposed meeting between Singh and Sharif in New York tomorrow, Omar said, "Today, our eyes are set on a small hotel room, 10,000 km away, where we hope friendship will flourish between the two neighbours... we hope we are not let down this time."
Omar was addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone for a flyover which would connect Jehangir Chowk and Rambagh here.
Slamming the elements who were trying to jeopardise what would be the first meeting at the prime ministerial level between India and Pakistan after elections in the neighbouring country, Omar said, "Attempts were made to stop the talks, be it on the political front or by other means. What was the aim behind the unfortunate attacks on Thursday in Jammu in which 10 precious lives were lost?
"We have seen in the past that when such attacks took place, the process of talks stopped. Forces who do not want India and Pakistan to talk tried to use this attack to stop the process of talks even before it started," Omar said.
Terrorists stormed a police station and then an army camp in the Jammu region on Thursday, killing 10 people, including an army officer in twin 'fidayeen' attacks.
Talking about the proposed meeting between the two PMs, Omar said that nobody wanted Singh to talk sweet with Sharif, but noted that the dialogue should go ahead that India may bring forth its "concerns".
"Nobody is expecting that you have to agree on all the things at a single meeting," he said.
Without naming BJP, Omar said that those who were opposed to the talks should look into their past and see what they did when they were in power.
"Did your leader (former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee) not extend the hand of friendship to (former Pakistan President) General Pervez Musharraf from the soil of Srinagar," he said.
Omar said the situation was much better today and sought wholehearted support for the success of the talks.
"Today the situation has undergone a sea change. Though we see isolated militant activities, there is no comparison between the situation today and what it was then.
"Therefore, we all should pray to the Almighty to give strength to both Singh and Sharif to change the relationship of animosity between the two countries into one of friendship," he said.