Clarify stand on Taliban- a terror outfit or not: Omar to Centre

Omar Abdullah’s statements come a day after India engaged in diplomatic talks with Taliban, the first after the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan.
Omar Abdullah also asked the Centre why they are holding talks with Taliban if they are a terror organisation. (HT FILE)
Omar Abdullah also asked the Centre why they are holding talks with Taliban if they are a terror organisation. (HT FILE)
Published on Sep 02, 2021 02:10 AM IST
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Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday sought the Centre’s stance on Taliban – whether India looked at as a terror outfit or not.

The statements come a day after India engaged in diplomatic talks with Taliban, the first after the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan.

Talking to reporters at the party headquarters, Omar said, “Either Taliban is a terror organisation or it is not? Please clarify how you see the Taliban? Is Taliban a terror organisation? If it is not, will you move the United Nations to have it delisted as a terror organisation because right now you (India) are presiding over the United Nations Security Council? If it is a terror organisation then how do you distinguish between Taliban and other terror groups? If it is not a terror organisation, then please move the United Nations to have it removed from that list of terror organisations. Let their bank accounts start functioning and let’s not treat them differently but you can’t have different yardsticks for different organisations.”

“If they are a terror organisation, why are you talking to them? If they are not a terror organisation, why are you banning their bank accounts? Why are you not recognising their government? Make up your mind what it is… I am not the decision maker,” he said.

The junior Abdullah, however, refused to respond to a question about his opinion on the al-Qaeda’s threat to Kashmir and said that the question should be answered by Prime Minister.

Omar also feigned ignorance over ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’, a mission of al-Qaeda and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to capture India. “I don’t know anything regarding that,” he responded.

He also said he was not aware of any statement from al-Qaeda about its wish for Kashmir to be liberated and the promise of ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ to be kept.

Omar also demanded full restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir before holding assembly elections. “Whenever the Election Commission wants to hold elections, they should do it, but we demand full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir before elections,” he said.

“We had prepared for assembly elections in 2019 because the assembly had been dissolved, he said.

Regarding revocation of Article 370 and 35-A, besides other decisions that unfolded on August 5, 2019, Omar said his party will legally fight them before the Supreme Court. “The Prime Minister and Home Minister had made a commitment in the Parliament that statehood will be restored; then should it be delayed,” he asked.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021