Not jobs, politics can solve Kashmir issue: Omar

Srinagar, July 2 (Calcutta Tube) Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday said aspirations of the people could not be assuaged only by development, good governance and economic packages, as the Kashmir issue needed a political solution and the central government should initiate ‘meaningful talks’ with separatist leaders.

‘The crux of the Kashmir issue lies in politics, it’s not about jobs, roads and bridges and governance. The (central) government has to find a solution through meaningful talks. It takes two hands to clap, separatists need to respond and the Indian government needs to take the dialogue to a meaningful point,’ Abdullah told CNN-IBN news channel.

The chief minister said his government would fight forces, instigating unrest in the Kashmir Valley where the authorities were forced to impose curfew after continuous violent protests in the last two weeks.

He said he won’t discount that mainstream political parties were fomenting the trouble and accused that sons of unnamed leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were also involved in the recent tension.

‘Kashmir is a tricky melting pot. I won’t discount the involvement of sections of mainstream polity of Kashmir. The PDP leaders’ sons are actively involved in recent tension, I have credible information,’ he said.

Abdullah said it was ‘unfair’ to blame the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for the trouble entirely. ‘To say this would be unfair. There have been incidents where excessive use of force has given rise to public anger, but blaming just the CRPF will be too simplistic.’

The situation, the chief minister said, was ‘better now’ though ‘far from normal’.

‘The challenge that we face is to gradually lift curfew from tense areas,’ he said.

The chief minister renewed his appeal for peace to the people in the valley. ‘People of Kashmir are a part of my flesh and blood and I appeal to all of them to rise above political affiliations and ideologies, come together and work with us to ensure that order and peace are restored in the troubled parts of the valley.’

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