Omar Urges J&K Separatists to Set Off Talks With Central Government

Srinagar Jan 26th: In a political snub to Kashmiri separatists, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked them to see the reality and talk to the central government.

Addressing the people of the state on the eve of the Republic Day here, Abdullah asked separatist leaders to give up their double standards. He said separatist leaders had been holding talks with Pakistan but were making excuses against talking to the government of India.

“Omar reiterated that political issues cannot be resolved by gun or money “but across the table through a process of dialogue.”

Omar said that his grandfather and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was offered gun to carry forward his political roadmap of the State “but he denied it vehemently saying gun only creates miseries and serves no purpose.” He gave the credit to people for their cooperation in maintaining peace and carrying forward development activities in all three regions of the state.

Neither peace nor progress was possible without the support of the common man as a state like Jammu and Kashmir cannot be governed from secretariat because of its geographical diversity, remoteness and area specific problems, he said.

Referring to some separatists’ recent visit to Pakistan, Abdullah said: “When they can talk to the leadership of the neighbouring country, they should also talk to leaders of their own country and work for the settlement of basic political issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir for the larger interest of the people of the state.”

On creating employment opportunities for youth, the chief minister said that in addition to providing numerous opportunities of earning independent livelihood for educated youth under SKEWPY, his government has initiated and upgraded different programmes for self-employment and skill upgrade.

He said thousands of educated unemployed have been absorbed in government services besides facilitating their placements in different private companies within and outside the State. He referred to the Central sponsored programmes of UDAAN and HIMAYAT in this regard.

On the issue of security to panches and sarpanches, he said the coalition government has focused on the creation of a powerful Panchayat Raj System in the state.

To curb corruption and upgrade transparency in the functioning of administration, he said the government has implemented Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA) and 20 more services have recently been incorporate in it raising the number of services to 69.

Omar said that creation of Accountability Commission, Vigilance Commission, placing of third party monitoring in place and other steps to check corruption and bring more transparency in the functioning of government departments are effective measures to address menace of corruption.

Separatist leaders called for a shutdown on Saturday on the occasion of celebrations associated with India’s 64th Republic Day. All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices remained closed.

Meanwhile, The Republic Day functions in the Kashmir Valley passed peacefully, with Rural Development Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar saying the gun had only caused destruction.

In the mean time a very highly sensitive area of J&K, Sopore also celebrated Republic Day with full zeal and enthusiasm. On the occasion Shri Mohinder Kumar, Commandant 179Bn,C.R.P.F hosted the flag and followed by speech to commemorate the date and moment when the Constitution of India came into effect. Although India attained independence on August 15, 1947 but till 1949 it didn’t have a permanent constitution of its own.

That came into force in a full-fledged fashion from on 26 January, 1950. Thus, Republic Day celebration is the moment to remember the coming of the Constitution into effect, he said.

Syed Irfan Aziz, from Sopore, a small town in North Kashmir, India, is currently Executive Editor of the Daily English newspaper INSIDE KASHMIR and is a freelance News Producer in electronic media.