India Should Respond in Kind to Pak: Omar

SRINAGAR: Expressing ‘deep concern’ over the ceasefire violations at LOC and International Border (IB), Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday said New Delhi will have to look at other options if Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire.

“Obviously this cannot be a one-sided affair. It cannot be a situation where we are at the receiving end and no response is given,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Centre should explore other options if Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire along LoC, he told reporters on the sidelines of police martyrs commemoration function at Zewan near here on Monday.

He expressed shock over the breech despite the commitment to peaceful borders reiterated by the Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his talks with Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

“I do not understand whether there is hand of Pak Prime Minister in the violation of ceasefire or he has no control over it”, Omar said and vehemently asserted that the forces behind creating tension on borders and disturbing peace and tranquillity on LOC and IB, putting civil population to serious difficulties, will not be allowed to succeed. 

“We will fail their attempts and designs”.

Earlier addressing the function the Chief Minister said that the shelling of Pak forces has made the life of people living on LOC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir miserable. “It has made them to leave their houses, abandon agricultural activities and flee to safer places”, he said adding that he would ask the Government of India to take up this issue with Pakistan strongly and in plain speaking terms. “Tell them that the answer to shelling cannot be given by words. We do not want to retaliate the bullet with the bullet for the larger interests of the civilian living on LOC and IB but that does not mean that the answer to bullet is not the bullet”, he said and added that shelling on Jammu and Kashmir borders and LOC has marred education, agriculture, economic activities and endangered the life of people who are fleeing from these areas.

The Chief Minister said that he was sending a team of ministers to the areas hit by Pak shelling in Samba, R. S. Pora and other areas to meet the affected families and take first hand appraisal of their difficulties so that immediate necessary arrangements are taken for their help and rehabilitation till the time their return to border areas become safe.

Omar Abdullah cautioned against the attempts by various elements on peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the security grid should be more vigilant, alert and careful so that no chance is given to militants to strike which he said they do it to lower the morale of security forces. “In fact the morale and bravery of J&K Police, Security Forces and Army gets more and more enhanced and strengthened by attaining martyrdom while protecting the people, the State and the Country”, he said and paid rich tributes to the Police, Paramilitary and Army jawans and officers who have sacrificed their today to safeguard the tomorrow of the Nation and its people.

The Chief Minister assured the families of martyrs that the State Government is with them through all thick and thin. He said while various measures have already been put in place to take care of martyrs’ families, his government would further strengthen and expand these measures.

‘SOP Lapses Helped Militants Strike’ 

Chief Minister observed that procedural lapses and non adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is the reason why militants were able to strike against army and others security forces agencies in the state this year.

Omar said almost in all incidents of big militant strikes that took place this year including Bemina and Hyderpora, it was found that militants took advantage of minor or major lapses on part of the security forces.

“In all the incidents in which security forces were targeted this year, there was a minor or major lapse and the militants took advantage of that. I am not just referring to Hiranagar and Samba incidents. I am referring to all the incidents in which the militants have got the better of the security forces,” the chief minister said, according to KNS correspondent.

Omar said that he believed that at some point of time there has been relaxation of the SOPs that were put in place. “Had the SOPs been followed, I believe these incidents would not have taken place. I think it is important that the SOPs be followed and these militants be denied an opportunity to have successes like these,” the chief minister said. 

Omar said that the security forces will have to remain vigilant as the militancy in the state has not waned sofar. “There is still some effect and influence present and to finish it off, it is our duty that we do not give them even one chance of success. Wherever the militants attack, they have to be dealt with an iron fist,” he observed.  

Saying that given the substantial success achieved by the security forces in tackling militancy, Omar said he was optimistic that ‘we will be able to see its end’.  

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