Omar Abdullah notes Pakistani role in curbing violence

8 May 2009
The Dawn

Srinagar: The chief minister of occupied Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, has acknowledged Pakistan's contribution to the 'remarkable' drop in violence in the disputed region in recent years. A 20-year campaign against Indian rule in the region has claimed more than 47,000 lives, but peace talks initiated between India and Pakistan in 2004 resulted in a sharp fall in violence levels. 'I would call it remarkable,' Mr Abdullah told AFP in an interview this week at his high-security residence in occupied Srinagar. 'It would be impossible for levels of violence to be where they are if there wasn't some amount of influence being brought to bear from Pakistan,' he said. 'I tend to believe that we have reached this point because perhaps Pakistan has also realised it is not in their interest to have these levels of violence, which leads to the alienation of the people here,' he added. Mr Abdullah's comments came against the backdrop of New Delhi's refusal to restart peace talks in the wake of the attacks on Mumbai.