Separatists, Centre must talk on Kashmir: Omar | india | Hindustan Times
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Separatists, Centre must talk on Kashmir: Omar

india Updated: Dec 05, 2010 19:39 IST

PTI
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said separatists in the state should enter into a dialogue with the Centre to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"If they (separatists) can hold talks with parliamentarians and the Pakistan High Commissioner (in Delhi), what is the problem in talking to the Central government," Omar said, addressing a gathering at the mausoleum of his grandfather and National Conference founder Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah on his 105th birth anniversary.

"Dialogue is the only way out and they should enter into talks with the Centre," he said, adding, nothing can be achieved by resorting to violence by stone-pelting, killing people or burning school buses.

Referring to the BJP's criticism over his remarks on Kashmir in the state Assembly in September, the Chief Minister said, "I have said it in front of Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh at Qazigund) and reiterate that Kashmir is a political problem. Funds can help in mitigating the problems and meeting the development needs of the people only," he said.

Omar had said that Kashmir had acceded to the Union of India and not merged with it, which was widely criticised by opposition parties, especially the BJP. Addressing another function in connection with the NC founder's birthday, Omar said the recent unrest in Kashmir Valley had badly affected the economy of the region and thousands of people had lost their livelihood.

He expressed apprehension that some people might try to create further unrest in the Valley during the next summer. "For the last three years, whenever the tourist season approaches here they (separatists) ask for shutdowns. We have seen this in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Now they must be preparing (to do so) for June 2011, but we will use all our efforts so that they do not succeed in it," he said. The Chief Minister blamed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for remaining indifferent to the suffering of the common people.

"I am talking about my own people who are in the Assembly with us. When there is a semblance of normalcy, they say this is deception, fraud. They say this not the ground situation. Instead of working for peace so that more tourists come, they are doing the opposite," Omar said. "That is why I repeat until we find a solution to this issue, we should not add more miseries to the people," he added.

Omar said this year Kashmir had more than five lakh tourists but the five months of unrest destroyed the season. He said the Valley would be teeming with tourists if the situation improves here.