Welcome India-Pak renewed engagement on J&K: Omar Abdullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah addressing a press conference at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar on Saturday. Aman Farooq/GK

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Wednesday welcomed the renewed bilateral engagement between India and Pakistan after a long hiatus saying the changed

understanding of both the neighboring countries vis-à-vis Jammu and Kashmir will act as forerunner of peace and prosperity in the region.

Commenting on a series of initiatives being taken by the GoI, party‘s Vice President said the renewed outlook of both the countries give an inkling of a changed mind set towards Jammu and Kashmir. He said the evolving situation has made it pretty clear that the outlook of both the countries has undergone a big change and has been replaced with a policy of peaceful engagement. He said it was a welcome step that must be carried forward positively.

Omar said this while interacting with a series of delegations of NC, YNC and women wing functionaries at Party Headquarters Nawa e Subha, Srinagar. Party General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, party functionaries Ali Mohammad Dar, Tanvir Sadiq, Showkat Mir, Peer Afaq, Imran Nabi Dar, Salman Ali Sagar, Ahsan Pardesi, Sabiya Qadri, Shabir Ahmad, GN Bhat, Jagdish Singh Azad, Anil Dhar, Mohammad Yaqoob Wani were also present.

Remarking on the development, he said, “We have been pleading with the GOI to restore 4G services over a period of time, but all of a sudden the service was restored. The let-up to the woes of people wasn’t confined to that measure only. Over the period of time we saw how both the neighboring countries came up with a DGMO level talk on the cessation of violence on the LOC, IB. It was much later, to our surprise though that we were able to learn that the DGMO level formations were a product of diplomatic negotiations, which all of us were unmindful of. Reports of allowing Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to offer congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid after 18 months also gives an insinuation about the changed attitude we hail on account of it being in sync with our stated policy underscoring goodwill between India and Pakistan as a means to foster peace in J&K,” he said.

Exhorting the functionaries, Omar said the heirloom of ideals and values which the party has inherited from the Sher e Kashmir and Madre Meharban will continue to guide our steps. “At this point we have to concentrate more on making our party stronger at grass root level. The primary goal is to make the party stronger to face all the challenges which the people of Jammu and Kashmir are facing. But the idea of making the party stronger cannot be realized without the active participation of women folk. A gender neutral development is what has all through been a cornerstone of our party policy. The need of the hour calls for perking up our efforts to ensure that the women folk aren’t left out in any case since any idea of inclusive polity is impossible without having women in our fold,” he said.

Extolling the workers in their unbeaten spirit, he said that despite all the undue intervention from the administration the party workers were able to take on the challenges effectively on their own during the DDC elections. He asked the workers to keep up the spirit and step up their efforts to figure out the loopholes and subsequently plug them. “On one hand DDC elections revealed how deep rooted the party is, but on the other hand various organizational loopholes also surfaced which should not be left unaddressed,” he added.