Monday, September 6, 2010

Give Centre time to examine Geelani's proposal : Omar - Hindustan Times

Give Centre time to examine Geelani's proposal : Omar
Press Trust Of India
Jammu, September 06, 2010First Published: 20:18 IST(6/9/2010)
Last Updated: 20:20 IST(6/9/2010)

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the Centre should be given time to examine the points suggested by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for bringing about peace in the Valley. "Geelani has put forward some points. We should give time to the Centre to examine them and provide its response," Omar told reporters in reply to a question on the Eid deadline set by the Hurriyat Chairman for implementation of his "peace proposal".

The Chief Minister, who inaugurated a grid station in Kotbalwal area on the outskirts of Jammu city, said "I hope that Centre shall give such a response that will better situation in Kashmir".

Reacting sharply to a question about whether Geelani had been a factor in the over two-month-long Kashmir crisis, Omar said, "Every factor is important. There is no party leader in J&K who can claim to be the sole representative of Jammu and Kashmir or Kashmir valley".

He said it was important that every person with a representative character, came forward and helped resolve the issue.

Denying that he had spoken in favour of removal of the Army from Jammu and Kashmir, he said he had only suggested that it should be thought over.

"We have two options over it. One, to amend the strigent sections of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). They should be made soft. The second option is to remove AFSPA in a phased manner from areas where there is near zero militancy and no role of the Army", he said adding, talks were on with the Centre in that direction.

An exercise is being undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir to identify districts with near zero militancy, he said.

However, the Chief Minister refused to comment on Northern Command Chief Lt Gen B S Jaswal strongly advocating the AFSPA.

To a question about the solution to the Kashmir issue, Omar said, "It lay in dialogue. Centre has repeatedly gone on record inside and outside Parliament saying there should be continuity of dialogue to solve the problem".

"The solution to Kashmir problem should be unique because the accession of J and K with the rest of the country took place in unique circumstances", he said, adding that it should be acceptable to people of all the three regions of the state.

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