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Kashmir needs political solution, Omar tells Rajnath

Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir needs a political solution and not economic packages, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told Home Minister Rajnath Singh here on Sunday.

On the second and last day of his visit amid unrest that has left over 45 people dead in the Kashmir Valley, Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level security meeting and met delegations of political parties.

Abdullah, leading a delegation of National Conference, told reporters that he put forward some suggestions on how to control the violent unrest in the valley.

“But we also told him that unless some long term measures are taken,” the Kashmir issue will continue to burn, he said.

“First of all, we have to accept that Jammu and Kashmir is not an issue of money. You cannot solve it by sending (economic) packages. It is not an issue of gun either. The gun has, of course, played a role in this issue. But fundamentally, it is not an issue related to the gun,” he said.

He said he explained to Rajnath Singh that “Kashmir is fundamentally a political problem”.

“And till we accept that, we cannot a find a solution to it.”

The former Chief Minister said his party leaders told Rajnath Singh that the central government should “muster courage” and accept the reality of the Kashmir issue.

“Then you can involve people with different opinions. Talk to them. Bring in all stakeholders within the ambit of dialogue and arrive at a solution that is acceptable to all.”

He said he also requested the Home Minister to stop using pellet guns at protesters and relax the curfe that was imposed after the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, sparking the violent unrest.

Rajnath Singh was slated to visit Anantnag in south Kashmir, the worst affected region in the turmoil that has also left hundreds injured.

The minister also met a delegation of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other political leaders.

He chaired a security review meeting attended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, bureaucrats, police officials and those from the state and central intelligence agencies besides top officials of paramilitary forces.

Rajnath Singh will fly back to New Delhi on Sunday evening.

Authorities earlier lifted curfew from four of the 10 districts in the Kashmir Valley.

Restrictions imposed in the rest of the areas were slightly eased as the ground situation has showed marginal signs of improvement after 15 days of heightened tension across the valley.