Kashmir issue should be settled according to people's aspirations: Omar

Omar Abdullah
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) working President Omar Abdullah today said both India and Pakistan would have to settle the Kashmir issue according to the sentiments and aspirations of the people of the state.

Addressing massive election rallies in Sumbal and Kangan assembly seats, Omar said the people of his state were primary stakeholders of their political destiny and any possible solution would have to respect their dignity and sentiments.

"There isn't a moment in my political career that I have wasted in not demanding the resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the sentiments and political aspirations of our people. I have said so as an elected Chief Minister in office and I have said so in front of a visiting Indian Prime Minister.

"No amount of economic packages or dreams about development can substitute the need for an acceptable and just resolution of our political issue. We can build a thousand concrete bridges and pave thousands of kilometres of new roads but until and unless we build a political bridge that connects the people of this state to their political aspirations, the ground reality will remain unchanged," Omar said.

He said he was surprised at certain statements being made by Congress and PDP about the need to resolve the Kashmir issue and to protect Article 370.

"Congress was in power at the Centre for decades and Mufti Sayeed was their face in J and K all this while. What did Congress or Mufti Sayeed do to resolve the political issue in Kashmir? Rather, when Article 370 was eroded from 1953 to 1975, it was done by Congress party at the Centre and its "pliant, puppet regimes in Srinagar with Mufti Sahab as a permanent feature of this operation."

"Mufti Sahab might have great contempt for the subject of history as he deems it irrelevant but the fact is that Mufti Sahab was the face of Congress in J and K and when massive constitutional erosions were made to deprive J and K of what it had been promised through the instrument of accession and through Article 370," he said.

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