Kashmir: Send ’empowered’ group of MPs or Cabinet Ministers for talks, says Omar

With an all-party delegation of MPs failing to make a breakthrough in stemming the violence in the Valley, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today advocated setting up an “empowered” group of Parliamentarians or deputing a senior Cabinet minister to talk to the stakeholders for finding a political solution to the Kashmir issue.

“Time and again, the delegations and other processes have lost their credibility and therefore I favour that a group of Parliamentarians or a senior Cabinet minister should be sent to hold talks with the stakeholders, he said.

“As long as there is an ownership, I don’t mind. Whatever comes has to come from the government. But we need something concrete with entire weight and muscle of the government behind it,” Omar told Karan Thapar in an interview on India Today TV’s ‘To the Point’ programme.

Expressing his disappointment with the resolution adopted after the all-party delegation meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, he said when he had met the team in Kashmir, it was made clear to them that they had a difficult task on their hands to restore the faith of people in this process.

“In the past also, the all-party delegations have come but I am afraid that there was no follow up,” he said, adding there was “no substance” in today’s resolution either.

The former Chief Minister blamed the PDP-BJP government for the failure, saying enough preparations had not been done before the meeting. “The delegation did not meet a wide, cross section of people,” he said.

He said the resolution read out after the meeting today had “no substance. There were no ideas, no roadmap to help the Valley come out of the mess. Just an appeal which they could have done without coming here. The statement is disappointing as there is no way forward.”