No link between Al-Qaeda and militancy in Kashmir: Omar


Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said there was no credible evidence to show any link between the Al-Qaeda terror outfit and the militancy in the state.

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“Although Osama (bin Laden) had spoken about Kashmir as the unfinished agenda of his group. In the unified command meetings I have chaired, I have yet to be shown any piece of evidence that would suggest a link between the Al-Qaeda and the militancy here,” Omar told reporters here.

The chief minister believes the feared bitterness would not overtake the pace of India-Pakistan peace process in the wake of the Osama killing in Pakistan.

“There have been statements from Pakistan that we should not attempt any misadventure. We are not even thinking about any such misadventure. Our foreign secretary has made it clear that we will continue to pursue the peace process with Pakistan,” he said.

Omar hoped that through sustained dialogue between the two neighbours, the “old problem of Kashmir would be resolved”.

“But the solution must be essentially acceptable to the people of Kashmir.”

He also appealed to the separatists to participate in the dialogue between the central and the state governments.

Asked about hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani taking exception to some of his remarks posted on Twitter, Omar said: “Remarks taken out of context would provoke the situation.”

“Because of something I said, Geelani Sahib, who is a senior leader, should not inconvenience the people by calling a strike. I earnestly appeal to him that we can take up our differences in a public forum and not through inconveniencing the people.”

“The two of us can agree to disagree.”

He said the people of Kashmir wanted the peaceful atmosphere to continue so that developmental works pick up pace.

Omar said that around 600-700 militants had so far sent in their applications under the chief minister’s rehabilitation policy.

“Out of these, 125 have already been processed,” he said. The policy announced last year aims to rehabilitate those militants who voluntarily give up violence and return to their families to start life afresh.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister was presented a guard of honour when he reached the civil secretariat in summer capital Srinagar.

After its six-month long sojourn in the winter capital Jammu, the civil secretariat, that includes the offices of the chief minister, his ministerial colleagues, state chief secretary and all senior bureaucrats started functioning here Monday.

The shifting of the top offices in Jammu and Kashmir between the summer and winter capitals, traditionally known as the ‘Darbar move’, follows the practice of the state’s autocratic Dogra Maharajas who started the tradition over 150 years ago.