Omar, Mehbooba Hope For ‘Cooler Heads, Sense To Prevail’

SRINAGAR — Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday called for “cooler heads and sense to prevail” after  India’s claim of “preemptive strikes” inside Pakistani territory led to fears of  a full-blown escalation between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

“JeM hit Indian forces & claimed the attack. In turn Indian forces hit JeM & owned that air strike. It’s now time for cooler heads to prevail. War is never an ideal option to resolve disputes. Let’s go back to the India-Saudi joint statement of last week,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

“We’ve entered a whole new paradigm with the Balakote air strike. The post Uri strike was to avenge our losses, Balakote was a “preemptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack”. Totally new ballgame,” the National Conference president said.

Mehbooba also took to Twitter to denounce the “war hysteria.”

“ Todays IAF strikes were followed by mass war hysteria on twitter & news channels. Most of these people are ignorant who have suspended the use of common sense. But its disconcerting that educated privileged people are cheering on at the prospect of a war. This is true jahaalat(ignorance),”  she tweeted.

“If my aversion to unnecessary retaliation & subsequent war makes gullible people question my nationalism then so be it. I would rather bat for peace & save lives than sacrifice countless ones just to satisfy collective egos and misplaced sense of pride & patriotism,” she said.

“Since Pak has claimed that no casualties were reported despite IAF violating LoC ,they should adopt a reconciliatory stand as opposed to further escalation. Or else, an already volatile situation will spiral out of control and as usual Kashmiris will be the biggest casualties.”

She also said that “one can only hope and pray that good sense prevails soon. How much more will J&K suffer? Kitni der tak hum khamyaza bhugte gain?”

People's Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone, however, said the air strikes will set a benchmark for deterrence and eventually end the cycle of violence.

"Pacifist to the core I am. But the reality as it stares in our faces is that this retaliatory action will actually be the start of the unlearning process for Pakistan. This will set the benchmark for deterrence. And eventually crowd out cycle of violence," Lone said in a tweet.

“Hope we can end to all types of violence. Hope Kashmiris who have been at the receiving end for three decades get respite from violence. Millions died in Europe only to evolve as EU. Historically countries evolve bloodily. Hope it has been bloody enough for the two countries to now talk.”

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