Omar Wants Separatists On Board For K-solution23 May 2010
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government is trying through back channels to persuade separatist leadership to hold talks with New Delhi to draw a roadmap for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, sources told Greater Kashmir on Sunday. They said the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, is himself overseeing the progress and he would be briefing the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who is visiting Kashmir for 2-days from June 7 to address the convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, about the developments that have taken place in the past few months. “The Chief Minister wants New Delhi to take separatists on board to draw the road map for Kashmir resolution. The Prime Minister too is keen on it,” sources said. “The Prime Minister will assess the ground situation and will hold a threadbare discussion with the Chief Minister about how to go ahead,” they added. Separatists have been maintaining that “quiet talks” have ended and there has been no headway in the past few months. However, sources say that state government has initiated talks with them through back channels. “Not much progress has been made but process is on,” sources added. Omar Abdullah, they said, has made it clear to New Delhi that if separatists have to be taken on board then ground situation has to improve and armed forces have to be reined. “Last week government allowed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Gani Lone to stage massive rallies at Eidgah in Srinagar and in frontier district of Kupwara without any interference. It shows that the state wants separatists to move freely and express their views in a democratic way,” Omar’s close aide said. He said the Chief Minister had instructed police and other security agencies to ensure that no force is used to disperse the rallies. The government, according to the sources, is contemplating to release the senior separatist leaders including, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan and others. If sources are to be believed, Omar during his meetings with leaders in New Delhi has been making it clear to them that Kashmir is not a law and order problem. “It is a political issue and needs to be resolved politically.” “The Chief Ministers assertions have been taken very well in New Delhi and no less than Prime Minister wants Omar to play a pivotal role in facilitating Kashmir-New Delhi talks,’ sources added.