Will persuade Centre for talks if separatists are willing:Omar

Omar Abdullah. Photo: Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka
Omar Abdullah. Photo: Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka

Srinagar, Aug 5 (PTI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said he will persuade the Centre to hold talks with the separatists if the latter show willingness to enter the dialogue with the government.

“…they (separatists) have to be willing to come forward for a dialogue (with the Centre) but so far there has been reluctance on their part. If any willingness is shown I am sure I will be able to motivate the Centre to talk to them,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

The Chief Minister said unfortunately, it was not for him to invite the separatists for dialogue.

“If they have grouse or any complaint with me, I will be more than happy to invite (them). My role is to facilitate a dialogue between them and the Centre which I am trying to do by making sure that the situation in the state remains conducive for dialogue which over the past few years has been,” he said.

Referring to the recent sectarian clashes in parts of Budgam district of central Kashmir, the Chief minister said sectarian clashes are not a new phenomenon in the state.

“In a run-up to elections, there has always been a concerted effort to polarise people on regional, caste and religious grounds. Don’t forget our worst example of polarisation in recent history, in 2008, in the run up to Assembly elections (following amaranth land row agitation).

“So there is no doubt that there is a design in what is happening whether it is in the Shia-Sunni clashes in Budgam, whether it is in the effort to foment Hindu-Muslim trouble in some parts of Jammu but we are aware of it and we will make sure that their designs will not succeed,” he said.
Asked to comment on the proposed agitation announced by moderate Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq against alleged use of fake drugs in the state, Omar said there has been no new report on fake medicines.

“There has been no new report on fake drugs. There is nothing like that. Mirwaiz sahib can do whatever he wants to but he should have acted on time instead going for a belated reaction,” he said, adding the government has taken the necessary action against the menace many months before.

“There has been a charge sheet and some people have been arrested. We have set right everything. We have created a new drug procurement committee. Now, I can’t understand as what for Mirwaiz sahib will agitate,” he said.

The Chief Minister said, “If there is a fresh mistake on our part, he should agitate on that. What is there to agitate on old issues?”



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