Centre never interfered with J&K's rights: Omar

Ridiculing hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s assertions that government was trying to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir by settling non-state subjects in camps established for Kashmiri Pandits, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday challenged the Hurriyat leader to raise such issues with Pakistan, who, he said, are “settling non-state subjects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on regular basis”.

“We see you often hugging the visiting Pakistani officials in New Delhi. Have you ever asked them about the demographic changes they are doing in that part of Kashmir continuously by allowing the non-Kashmiris to settle in?,” Omar asked Geelani. Further, he said, “We may have so many differences with the Centre but no one can say that it has ever interfered or indulged in the rights of the people of the state regarding their ‘State Subject’ status.”

Terming Geelani’s assertions baseless, Omar said there is not even an iota of truth in it. “Yeh buzarg leader ka eak aur shosha hai (This is yet another self-invented musing of the senior leader),” he added.

Omar was addressing a public gathering at Hazratbal here on the occasion of the death anniversary of Madr-e-Meherban Begum Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Stating that Kashmiri Pandits are integral part of the state, Omar said his government would facilitate their return as “they are the subjects of the state like others”.

The chief minister said J&K enjoys the special status and the National Conference has always stood for it; it’ll continue to nurture and strengthen it in future.

On dialogue process between India and Pakistan, he said, “It is only way out to find a way forward. We are aware that bigger issues cannot be settled in just a few meetings, we would emphasise on the need of certain result-oriented measures to address smaller issues.

The chief minister castigated the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and its leadership for “double standard”

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