March 2007 News

Let them decide on running the Government: Omar

27 March 2007
The Hindu

New Delhi: National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said it was for the coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir to decide on the functioning of their government. He was responding to queries at a function organised by the Institute of Social Sciences to mark the release of a report of an international conference 'Indian Federalism at Work' held in Srinagar last year. Mr. Abdullah said it would not be proper for him to comment on the happenings in other political parties, as he was also a political operator in the State. 'It is for the coalition partners to decide on the functioning of the Government.' He, however, said he believed that whatever the People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had demanded would be in the interest of the people and the State. Political dimension On the issue of greater autonomy sought by his party, he said the National Conference never claimed that granting more autonomy would solve the problem. 'The Kashmir problem has a political and an international dimension also, which have to be addressed. It could just be a starting point,' he said. 'Greater autonomy is no magic solution. If there are people who can come up with better solution without tinkering with the Constitution, they should come forward. The concept of self-rule as promoted by the PDP is also welcome,' he said, adding that financial packages would not solve the problem. Rights violations While emphasising the need to strengthen the human rights mechanisms, he said rights violations were being used as a weapon against India in the international forum. There was a need to put in place a State human rights commission and make the security forces accountable. 'This is essential to instil faith among the people. This is not to say that all allegations made against the security forces are correct; some are politically motivated also, but these needed to be looked into in a transparent manner.' Advocating the need for more decentralisation, Mr. Abdullah said though the State has had panchayat and local bodies elections, not much had been done in terms of delivering the promises, which could make a difference on the ground.


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