Won’t dissolve House: Omar



Jammu, Nov 9: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday welcomed the willingness shown by the separatist leaders to restart dialogue with New Delhi, but ruled out any possibility of dissolution of the Legislative Assembly to facilitate the talks.
 "Perhaps some change has come in their (separatists') mindset when they are talking of working together with us. Earlier, they were reluctant to sit with us (mainstream political parties) at Round Table Conferences. This will be a welcome change in the larger interest of the people of the state," Omar told reporters here after reopening of Government offices in the winter capital on first day of Darbar Move.
 Reacting to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's suggestion to dissolve the Assembly before the dialogue process, Omar said the time had not come to take any such decision. "I don't have the mandate to say or decide on the issue. It is for (National Conference president) Farooq Abdullah and (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi to decide. It's a political decision, they would have to take that," Omar added.
 Omar said quiet diplomacy had proved fruitful in solving many political issues. "This process has helped a lot in the settlement of political issues of Palestine and Sri Lanka in the recent past," he said.
 The Chief Minister said that quiet diplomacy keeps the focus on settling issues without media hype and proves prudent to carry forward the dialogue in right direction. "The fact is that you can move ahead in the dialogue process easily without creating media hype," he explained.
 Commenting on the situation in Pakistan, Omar said though it was the country's internal matter, yet the neighbours also were concerned over the instability there. "The instability in Pakistan affects Jammu and Kashmir directly," he added.

 Omar objected to the army using the term "agitational terrorism," referring to the frequent protests and shutdowns in the state.
 He rubbished the phrase and asserted that "there was nothing like agitational terrorism." "There is nothing common between the two – terrorism and agitation," the chief minister said.
 General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army's Northern Command Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal had last month said that though violence in Kashmir was on the decline since 2006, "agitational terrorism" was a cause for worry.
 The term agitational terrorism refers to street protests and shutdowns that started with the Amarnath land agitation in the Kashmir Valley last summer, halting normal life for weeks together. Widespread protests in 2009 too rocked the state with the latest being over the rape and murder of two women in Shopian.
 Omar once again criticized the Services team for backing out of the Ranji Trophy cricket match in Srinagar. "It was highly condemnable."
 He said that recent visits of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P. Chidambaram 'were reflective of the normalcy in the state.'

 Omar said the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) was running on loss and employees of the Corporation shouldn't expect a salary hike. He however said the Government was willing to provide every help to restructure the SRTC. "We have already made it clear that Government will provide funds for their salaries, but it is in no position to enhance their salaries as the Corporation has been running under loss for past so many years," he said.
 He said the Government was keen to improve the functioning of the Corporation and to make it a profitable venture. "The SRTC employees need to understand the ground situation and cooperate with the Government. We have to meet somewhere in midway to resolve the issue," he said.
 Pertinently the SRTC employees have been on indefinite strike for more than 2 months. They are demanding release of their pending salaries and one time solution to their problems.

 Responding to a query about the relations between the coalition partners, the Chief Minister said the NC-Congress coalition Government was working in close coordination and amity. "The performance of the Government proves that the there has never been any dispute in decision making. We are carrying forward the development agenda together to ensure speedy progress and development of the State," he said.
 Omar said the priority concern of the Government at present was to ensure expenditures on works and complete the schemes on time to reap the benefits of Rs 5500 crore annual plan granted by the Government of India besides ensuring spending of Rs 1200 crore under Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme (PMRP). "We are also concerned about expediting the works on power projects under execution in the state under PMRP," he added.
 The Chief Minister said that high quality macadamization of roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities had been initiated this year and the process would be carried to the towns. He said Government had also initiated action to improve other sectors and upgrade the health, education, PHE and power facilities in the State. "We want people to judge us by the work done," he said adding that instead of making announcements, Government believes in taking actions to achieve the goals.
 The members of Council of Ministers, Advisors to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, President and General Secretary of Civil Secretariat Employees Union were also present in the press conference.

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