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Ask Centre to find a solution to Kashmir problem, Oppn urges Prez

Omar-Abdullah

New Delhi: Opposition leaders led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday called on President Pranab Mukherjee requesting him to urge upon the central government to find a solution to the present Kashmir crisis politically rather than administratively.

“The failure of the central government in acknowledging that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation,” Omar, who was leading a delegation of 20 Opposition leaders, told reporters after an hour-long meeting with the President.

“We have requested the President to impress upon the central government to initiate a credible and meaningful process of political dialogue without any further delay involving all stakeholders to address the political issue in the state,” the National Conference leader said.

He said the continued refusal of the Centre to deal with the situation through a political approach “is disappointing and can have serious long-term implications on peace and stability in the state”.

The former chief minister, who was accompanied by Congress MLAs led by state PCC Chief GA Mir, CPM MLA M Y Tarigami and Independent legislator Hakim Yaseen, said, “The fire that has been raging in Kashmir Valley for last 42 days has already started spreading across Peer Panjal and Chenab Valley in Jammu region and Kargil area.”

“I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave,” he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to “crush the agitation by using administrative measures” like stopping sale of petrol and other essential commodities.

He regretted that whatever measures governments in the state and Centre should be taking for normalisation of situation were being taken by the opposition parties.

“It was opposition parties which pressurised the government for holding a debate in Parliament and it is again the opposition parties which are pushing the state government to find a political solution to the problem,” he said.

Omar warned that a “continued delay to engage with the people of the state through a comprehensive and sustained political initiative will further deepen the sense of alienation in the Valley and cast a shadow of uncertainty on its future generation”.

He said the delegation also requested the President to use his “influence” on the state as well as the Centre “to stop the use of lethal force against civilians in the Valley”.

PTI

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