Omar Slams UNMOGIP, Calls for India-Pak Talks

KUPWARA: Underscoring the importance of resolving political aspect of the Kashmir issue, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said political issues can only be resolved through talks between India and Pakistan and presence of UN's Military Observer Group in Kashmir was "not required" for this breakthrough. 

The Chief Minister criticised the role played by the UN observers and said their presence in the state have been of "no consequences" so far which is amply clear to all. 

"We know they remained mute spectators during the saga of militancy as also during the time when Line of Control (LoC) was roaring with guns for a long time," the Chief Minister said while addressing a public meeting in frontier Kupwara district. 

Chief Minister said the ceasefire on LoC was due to talks and agreement between India and Pakistan and the resolution of political issues of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the aspirations of its people can be sought only through talks between the two neighbours.

Taking a dig at PDP and its leadership for ‘deceiving’ people on issues by flaring up sentiments, Omar Abdullah said that politics of deceit has been their trait. “People are wiser enough to read between the lines and understand this kind of politicking”, he said maintaining that National Conference since the time of Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah stood for peaceful settlement of Political issues through the process of dialogue. “We would continue our endeavour in this regard”, he said adding that gun has never solved any problem but created numerous ones. He said Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was offered gun to carry forward his political roadmap but he denied it vehemently saying gun only creates miseries and serves no purpose which is a universal truth and people of Jammu and Kashmir are witness to it.

On the empowerment of Panchayats, the Chief Minister said that powers from 14 departments have already been transferred to panchayat institutions. “You should not be so selective about spending funds and concentrating on financial aspects, this you will be doing gradually to your full capacity but other issues like ensuring attendance of teachers in schools, availability of ration at ration depots, monitoring of Anganwari Centres, status of water and power supply and other basic services to people in your area, requires your priority attention to ensure proper functioning of the departments of whose services have been transferred to you”, he told panches and sarpanches who were present in the public meeting in a good number.

Omar Abdullah said that elections to Block Development Councils for panchayats would be held within next two-three months. “This will further empower panches and sarpanches both on financial and administrative fronts”, he said.

On employment, Omar Abdullah said that 70,000 to 80,000 posts in government departments are being filled up on fast track and a mechanism in this regard has already been formulated. He said job creation for youth has remained the top priority of his government and all avenues in the government and private sector are being explored to absorb more and more youth in the services.

Saying that district Kupwara has been fortress of National Conference all along, the Chief Minister praised Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Mir Saif-ullah, Kafil-ur-Rehman and Sharief-ud-Din Shariq for nurturing National Conference in this district and upholding its high principles. “I am confident that you would continue to work for upliftment of the people and seek their welfare”, he said and referred to the faith reposed by the people in National Conference and its leadership time and again.

The Chief Minister said that National Conference has never been power hungry and in fact Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah developed and groomed this party when he was outside the party. “Its workers prefer to work in party and extend their selfless service to people. It is immaterial for them to be a minister or not. Their only goal is public welfare and they always to achieve this target”, he said adding that the strength of National Conference lies in the wholehearted support of its workers and showered praises on them. He said by inducting Choudhary Mohmmad Ramzan and Mir Saif-ullah in Cabinet and giving status of Cabinet Minister to Kafil-ur-Rehman he has fulfilled the cherished desire of the people of Kupwara. 

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