Farooq's Tirade On Kashmir Leaves Omar Redfaced

13 October 2009
Times of India


Srinagar: Union minister Farooq Abdullah gave some anxious moments to his son and J&K CM, Omar Abdullah, when he contradicted him on the security scenario in the state at a function in Srinagar on Tuesday. An embarrassed Omar was forced to send Farooq a chit, asking him to cut short his speech at the All-India Editors' Conference, which also had I&B and minorities affairs’ ministers Ambika Soni and Salman Khurshid in audience. Omar pitched for a dialogue with ‘‘all shades of political thought’’ in the state, underlining a marked improvement in the state’s security situation, while Farooq contradicted him saying the state was in turmoil. Farooq said vested interests were thriving on violence. ‘‘There’re paid lobbies in the state, who get money from here and there,’’ he said. He slammed the security forces, politicians and bureaucrats for ‘‘having a vested interest in the Kashmir crisis’’. Farooq also came down heavily on the media, accusing it of magnifying minor issue to create an impression that the state was afire. The Union minister didn’t stop there and said New Delhi had failed to make headway in resolving the Kashmir issue. ‘‘The Centre should take a decision on the problem once for all. It would otherwise destabilize the entire subcontinent.’’ Sources said at this juncture Omar sent Farooq, who seemed to be in full flow, the chit. Omar, who isn’t know to be on the same wavelength with his father on several issues, highlighted the change in state’s situation saying there were only 305 terror incidents till September this this year, against 708 in 2008. Omar underlined the figures to buttress his call for opening channels of communication with politicians of every shade in the state. ‘‘The Centre should talk to and involve all voices for a peaceful resolution of the state’s issues,’’ he said. The CM suggested that New Delhi should also engage external (Pakistan) as well as internal (Hurriyat) forces.