Omar Urges PM To Suspend Political Activities

SRINAGAR — National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suspend all his political activities till the missing Indian Air Force pilot returns home safely, and also asked Opposition parties to put off their meeting in the national capital.

"PM Modi must suspend his political activities until #WingCommanderAbhinandan is returned safely. It can't be business as usual with him crisscrossing the country at taxpayer expense making political speeches while our pilot is a Pakistani captive," Abdullah said in a series of tweets.

The former chief minister said he had requested Opposition parties also to postpone their meeting in New Delhi.

"I had requested the opposition to postpone the meeting in light of the developments, especially after the news of our pilot being in Pakistani custody but they felt otherwise. I chose not to attend as a result," he added.

In their meeting, 21 opposition parties expressed anguish over what they alleged was "blatant politicisation" of the sacrifices of armed forces and urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.

The Pakistan Army released a 46-second video showing a blindfolded man claiming he is the missing IAF pilot.

The former chief minister appealed to Pakistan to treat the Indian Air Force pilot well.

"In the meantime, Pakistan please treat him as you would have us treat one of your men in uniform should he be unfortunate enough to be captured on this side of the border," he said.

"Thoughts with the family, friends & colleagues of #WingCommanderAbhinandan. Prayers for his early & safe return home to all those eagerly waiting for him," he added.
Farooq asks India, Pak to ‘shun war rhetoric’

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah Wednesday called for de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan and asked both the countries to maintain "maximum restraint" for the "greater good of humanity". 

"History bears testimony to the fact that war did not help both the neighbours resolve their long pending issues. It is in the interest of our region if both the countries shun war rhetoric," Abdullah said in a statement issued by the party.

"I urge both the countries to shun violence for the greater good of people living in both the countries especially for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

The former chief minister said it was the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) or the International Border (IB), who have to face the brunt of skirmishes between the two countries. 

"Let the war belong to tragic past in the history. It should find no place on our agenda. Let me remind the two nations that war is a plague that will have far-reaching consequences on the growth and development of the two nations," he said.

The NC chief urged India and Pakistan to maintain "maximum restraint" as war, he said, was a little word of few letters but its effects were always harmful.

"It brings destruction which cannot be compensated for many years. No peaceful mind wants war. I urge the peace loving people in both the countries to come forth and help de-escalate the situation," he said.

"I am pretty sure that the number of people who want peace far exceeds the hawkish people numerically, it is right time for the doves to come forward," he added.

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