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Updated: August 19, 2010 02:36 IST

Collective effort needed to restore normality: Omar

Shujaat Bukhari
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A file picture of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu A file picture of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the situation in Kashmir valley was a cause for concern and renewed his appeal to the people to co-operate in restoring normality.

He said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act would continue to be in operation.

Talking to journalists during the review of developmental works in Jammu on Wednesday, Mr. Abdullah said a collective effort was needed to restore normality. He said strict instructions had been issued to the security forces to avoid killing of innocents.

“The forces have been asked to observe maximum restraint,” he added.

The Chief Minister said there was no move to repeal or amend the AFSPA.

“Nothing in the AFPSA is going to be amended or revoked at this point of time,” he said.

But he maintained that efforts were on to make the AFSPA more humane and to remove it from certain areas where militancy has become a thing of the past.

“We [government] are continuously in touch with New Delhi, pursuing the case of taking out certain draconian components of the act so as to make it a humane. This is an ongoing process,'' he said.

On a question about the restoration of greater autonomy to the State, he said no changes could be made now. “The document has already been passed by the Assembly. It would be a starting point of our dialogue with New Delhi. In the dialogue, it would be seen what would be acceptable to New Delhi and what is acceptable to us.”

Mr. Abdullah had a dig at the Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi, who has sought passport for her son to send him abroad for education.

“It is hypocrisy. On the one hand she is suggesting that students stay away from school and participate in stone-pelting, but on the other she is asking for an Indian passport for her son to send him to Malaysia for studies. If this is not hypocrisy, then what is,” he asked.


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