Omar meets PM, PC, discusses dialogue with separatists

Srinagar, May 30: Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah on Friday met PM Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram during which a need for initiating an internal dialogue with separatists groups was discussed.

Omar began his day by meeting the Prime Minister during which he requested Singh to convene a high-level meeting to review the recommendations of the four working groups on Kashmir on internal confidence building measures, external confidence building measures, good governance and economic confidence building measures.

“I have requested the Prime Minister to begin the process and the recommendations of these working groups set up after the two Round Table Conferences, would help in ensuring better social, political and economic confidence building measures,” he told reporters after the day-long meetings at New Delhi on Friday.

Asked whether there were any differences with Congress over the issue of Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, Omar said “the differences was a creation of the media. There is no truth in these reports.”

He also brushed aside speculation that Rajya Sabha seat falling vacant following National Conference’s President Farooq Abdullah’s induction into the union cabinet would be given to separatist leader Sajjad Lone, who lost in Baramulla Lok Sabha poll.

“I agree that the separatists need to come for talks but gifting seats will not lead to any good,” he said.

The young Chief Minister said his government would like to begin holding talks with separatists leaders in the state.

“I have conveyed this to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister that we could begin holding talks with the separatists. The separatist leadership has to create a space for themselves…this will never be offered on a platter,” Omar said.

On his party’s autonomy resolution adopted in the state assembly in July 2000, Omar said the autonomy resolution was there but his party was flexible to arrive at a solution after sustained dialogues.

Referring to the situation in the state, Omar said the fragile situation in Pakistan “had left us with two options — either Islamabad would ensure a crackdown on terror groups or leave them loose. In the event of second case, we may have a task ahead for us in dealing with the terrorists”.

The Chief Minister also said security forces have to be cautious during the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

“During Amarnath Yatra, we have to be cautious. The security has to be tightened. The situation in neighbouring Pakistan is never really comfortable for us. So, we all have to review the entire situation,” he said.

On Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Omar said the UPA in its manifesto had mentioned that it would amend this Act and weed out the draconian aspects.

“The meeting to review the working groups will cover this issue as well,” he said.

Forces being reorganised for anti-insurgency ops in JK: Omar

The govt is reorganising security forces which are likely to go for intensive counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said.

“We have recently had a fairly successful election. So far our strategy was defensive, now we are going for standard counter insurgency operations. We are reorganising our security forces and refocusing on terror activities,” he told reporters after meeting Home Minister P Chidambaram at New Delhi on Friday.

Omar said the Counter Insurgency Grid in the state was well placed for launching offensive against the militants and the situation is being reviewed from time to time.

Asked whether there is an impact in Jammu and Kashmir following the ongoing development in neighbouring Pakistan, Omar said situation in that country is known to all.

“The situation in Pakistan is never comfortable for us. They are now focusing on Swat valley. But we have to see whether they will rein in JeM, LeT and other militant groups,” he said.

Omar said he had discussed the security situation in the state with the Home Minister and briefed him about the steps taken in this regard.