US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar
Jammu, Nov 8: Advocating the United States US role in facilitating dialogue process between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said he wishes the US President, Barack Obama or the US administration not make an “overt mediation” vis-à-vis resolution of Kashmir imbroglio.
“What role I would like to see the President Obama or any US administration to play is the one that they have so far been playing from time to time - that is to facilitate the process between India and Pakistan,” Omar told reporters after inspecting ceremonial Guard of Honour on the reopening of Move offices here today.
Omar remarked; “We are extremely sensitive to anything that appears even close to mediation and that obviously is not acceptable.” He said from time to time, the US administration as a friend came forward and facilitated the dialogue when it was required.
Omar remarked, “Obviously the most high-profile intervention was after Kargil intrusion when President Bill Clinton had summoned Pak premier Nawaz Sharif to Washington. If the US wants to help, they can perhaps try to get Pakistan to see things from our point of view and help the process from behind the scene.”
Chief Minister, however, said, “We do not require any sort of overt mediation and that is too much to ask, but, we can at least expect that they do not look at India through the prism of Af-Pak policy. I know it is difficult because they have troops serving in Afghanistan, but we have our own considerations.”
MEETING WITH OBAMA
Omar, who met the US President at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s private dinner in honour of the former last night, said, “I did have the opportunity to share a few words with the American President and his wife. During the course of which I was able to tell them a little bit about Jammu and Kashmir and also invited them to visit J&K at some point in future.”
He, however, remarked, “Beyond that it was an informal interaction and I do not think it would be appropriate to say anything else.”
ON BILATERAL TALKS
To a query on US President’s suggestion on Indo-Pak engagements, Chief Minister said, “It is not my place to try to interpret what President of US has said but I think if one understands what he is trying to suggest, it is basically with the line of policy of government of India which is a comprehensive dialogue and not just tackling one issue but all issues.”
Omar said the government of India has always been saying that J&K is an issue that needs to be discussed with Pakistan and it cannot be taken into isolation from “other issues that we have to discuss.”
He said as the “non-controversial” issues get tackled, more confidence can be built and the credibility gap that exists in the dialogue process can be eased and obviously it will be stronger to tackle the “trickier issues” like Jammu and Kashmir.
“What President Obama said is based on sound logic. It may not make sense to our friends from across the border because they say first Kashmir and everything else later,” Omar remarked.
To another question on resistance shown by some people against the shutdown in Kashmir Valley, the Chief Minister said, “It is just growing sign of Hartal fatigue that is the only way to explain it. Four to five months now, people have been treated to regular calendar and quite simply they are fed up with this.”
He said, “I think if any proof, the reaction of the people to the civil curfew call that was given to coincide with President Obama’s visit by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Traffic is more or less normal on Srinagar roads. The only areas are closed which traditionally remain closed by Hartals like Residency road, Lal Chowk. The rest of the areas are as close to normal as they had been in last five months.”
He, however, said “As long as the Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani persists in announcing calendar, obviously the danger that something untoward can happen, remains there. Therefore the government, particularly security forces are doing their utmost to ensure that any situation is dealt with maximum restraint possible so that we are not held responsible for deteriorating situation.”
ON ACCESSION REMARK
Omar said he has “no regret” over his accession remarks that he made in the state assembly as his statement is “factually correct”.
He said: “The Legislative Assembly was an appropriate forum to put on record the factual position. If a politician or an elected representative does not have the courage to speak what he believes, the he has no business saying it outside.”
The Chief Minister, however, said if clarification needs to be made, he would make it in the House.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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