Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday appealed to the people to help the government restore normality.

Mr. Abdullah said in a statement: “I have always been an advocate of peace. Death under any circumstances is a sad affair, and death of youngsters has saddened me the most. My heart goes to the bereaved families in their hour of grief. I feel their pain more than anyone will know.

“It is unfortunate that certain elements are hell-bent upon disturbing the peace and quiet, and causing discomfort to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. My government and I will fight these forces politically and administratively, and shall not let their nefarious designs succeed.

“The people of Kashmir are a part of my flesh and blood. I appeal to them to rise above political affiliation and ideologies, come together and work with us to ensure that order and peace are restored in the troubled parts of the Valley.”

Mr. Abdullah called upon the people to work jointly for peace saying, “We should jointly work to find a solution to the Kashmir imbroglio and facilitate a dialogue between India and Pakistan, as well as a dialogue between the Centre and various shades of opinion in the State. We must work together to find a solution which can lead to lasting peace in the State as per the aspirations of the people of this great land.”

“The party [The National Conference] I belong to, is for autonomy, but I have, time and again, reiterated that while we have put up a proposal for autonomy before different fora, we are not averse to move beyond it, if there is a solution other than autonomy that is acceptable to both India and Pakistan and meets the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

He said he understood the aspirations of the youth. “I have a vision for the youth of the State. I am committed to the youth and I want to assure them that my government, together with the Government of India, is working to address their issues, particularly that of unemployment.”

His government would not allow anybody to disturb peace. “We have lost 20 years and an entire generation has grown under the shadow of the gun. We cannot allow it to go on.”