Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the government would continue to facilitate dialogue between the Centre and various shades of political opinion in the State. It would also act as a bridge in improving India-Pakistan relations.
He was addressing the Gram Sabha in his Ganderbal constituency
“Let us feel our responsibility to society and the State and shun the tactics of disturbing the peace and marring the education and economy of the State,” he said. He called for recourse to dialogue to ventilate political grievances,
“It is most unfortunate that the perpetrators of lockouts and closing down of schools are ensuring the education of their sons and daughters outside the State but have no care for the education of the children of common people,” he said. Mr. Abdullah said that he had “campaigned vigorously for restoring internal and external dialogue channels to find a lasting solution to all issues as per the aspirations of the people.” The State government would continue to act as a catalyst in the peace process.
The Chief Minister said that he had sought a mandate in the 2008 Assembly Elections on development issues and never made any promise about resolution of the Kashmir issue. “However, I am the first Chief Minister who strongly campaigned for addressing the political issues of Jammu and Kashmir politically taking all shades of opinion on board,” he said.
The government would continue to work positively in this direction so that the issues were settled once and for all. “I have always flagged the role of separatists in the settlement of political issues of the State and paved the way for dialogue between them and the Centre. However, separatists never helped in creating a peaceful atmosphere to move ahead,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that his campaign for gradual reduction of the security forces in the State and softening of the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act (AFSPA) provisions had started yielding results, but the law and order situation created by certain elements in the Valley during the last three months led to a setback to his endeavours in this regard. “However, I will continue to work in this direction despite all odds,” he said.
Welcoming the eight-point formula of the Union government, the Chief Minister expressed confidence that the group of interlocutors for political dialogue would interact with all shades of opinion.