Thursday, February 29, 2024

Centre should take steps to address Kashmir issue

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the Centre should take necessary steps to address the internal and external dimensions of the Kashmir issue.

“We hope that the Centre will take all the steps needed to address the internal as well as external dimensions of Kashmir issue,” Omar told reporters after the reopening of Civil Secretariat in this summer capital of the state. He also expressed hope that the ongoing dialogue between India and Pakistan will continue so that the outstanding issues between the two countries are resolved.

“We will also make efforts to continue the dialogue process for addressing the political issues within Jammu and Kashmir,” the chief minister said. On the revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said significant headway had been made on the issue but the final decision on it could not materialise.

“Unfortunately, we could not cross the final barrier. We had tried the silent option of going about it but had to go for public debate on the issue. There was some digging of heels from certain quarters, (which was) not unexpected,” he said. Omar said he was hopeful that in the coming months, there will be significant progress on revocation of the AFSPA.

“We are still on the correct path. In the months to come, we will see progress on revocation of the AFSPA from some areas where there is no need for the army to operate,” he added.

On the development front, Omar said his government will expedite efforts to fulfill the promises and commitments made to the people of the state during the 2008 assembly elections and thereafter. “Although there is no common minimum programme, we are fulfilling the common promises made by the coalition parties (National Conference and Congress) in their election manifestos,” he said. Expressing hope that this year will remain peaceful in the Valley like the previous year, Omar sought cooperation of the people in this regard. (PTI)

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