Anantnag: Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Saturday that there was a long way to go vis-à-vis talks between India and Pakistan, as there was much to resolve including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Vice President of the J&K National Conference (NC) said he nevertheless welcomed the recent initiation of talks between the two countries.
“It is being said that the talks held so far have been held secretly. I think it is time that the two countries talked openly and sat across each other on the table,” Omar said while talking to media persons at the party office here in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
He maintained that friendship between the two countries was imperative to lasting peace in not only Jammu and Kashmir but the whole south Asia.
“Unfortunately, when we said that friendship between the two countries was the only option, we were called anti-nationals. The good part, however, is that we have been proved right,” Omar said, addressing his party workers at the venue.
He told his party workers that his focus was not on elections but on strengthening his party at the grassroots level. “I want to strengthen and empower the workers and their homes, so that we can keep representing the people of Kashmir and their sentiments,” he said during his speech.
Omar stressed that the need of the hour was to take people into confidence, which only the government could do. He said that the government of the Lieutenant Governor had the obligation to do so and tell people what good was being planned for them.
He was also asked about the summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to his successor, Mehbooba Mufti, to which he said that any opposition to the central government was being met with action by these agencies.
“This has been the norm for the last 6 to 8 years now. From Jammu Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and from Assam to Gujarat, Mehbooba Mufti is not the first leader and she will not be the last one to be treated like this,” Omar said.
Omar was accompanied by senior party leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani and Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi, among others.