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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Cancellation of talks with Pakistan was wrong: Omar

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 31, 2014
First Published: 13:17 IST(31/8/2014) | Last Updated: 14:04 IST(31/8/2014)

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah criticised the cancellation of talks by the Centre with Pakistan on the ground of separatists having tea with the Pakistan high commission authorities.

He said such tea parties used to take place in the past from the time of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao but dialogue process between India and Pakistan was not stopped on this ground.

Omar Abdullah referred to the militant attacks on Parliament and Mumbai and stopping of dialogue process on both the occasions. He said talks were re-started despite the fact that the conditions put forth by India were not fulfilled by Pakistan. He said dialogue is only way forward to resolve issue.

Without naming anybody, Abdullah criticised a particular media house for handing over verdict of ‘anti-national’ to the duly elected house of people of Jammu and Kashmir for passing a resolution regarding the need of restoration of talks between India and Pakistan.

“Any anchor who has no experience of putting his life to risk just like the public representatives of Jammu and Kashmir to strengthen the country and safeguard the state ought not to pass judgment in a television studio on the credentials of the elected representatives of the people who have taken oath for the country and give sacrifice for it,’’ he said. “We don’t talk here of our own (will). We talk for the people who we represent here,” Omar said in the state assembly.

“The council passed a resolution for resuming talks and all of us became anti-nationals. If we call for war, we become nationalists and if we call for talks, we become anti-nationals,” he said.

The chief minister said, “If we talk about endangering the lives of our army personnel by asking them to fight war and make sacrifices, it becomes big evidence of nationalism. If we want resolution of issues through dialogue, it becomes proof of anti-nationalism.”

The chief minister said that the elected representatives differ in their political ideologies adding that some are against Article 370 while others are in favour of further strengthening it, but all are on the same page so far as the strengthening and safeguarding the country is concerned.

The chief minister said that no state legislative assembly other than Jammu and Kashmir was attacked by the militants and the staff and security personnel were martyred. “There is no political party in Jammu and Kashmir whose members have not been attacked and killed by the militants,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Abdullah asked people of the state to use their right to vote for getting their day-to-day problems redressed.

“Whether the bigger political issues get resolved or not, we come here (assembly) everyday to address your problems,” Omar said on the final day of last session of the 11th legislative assembly.

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