Omar accuses Centre of being picky

Omar accuses Centre of being picky

Valley on fire: J&K chief minister decries Liyaqat Shahs arrest

Omar accuses Centre of being picky

Accusing the UPA government of being unfair to Kashmiris, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said the Centre applied a different yardstick for not withdrawing AFSPA in the State.

Making a strong speech in the state Assembly in Jammu, he reiterated his demand that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) must be withdrawn, while also decrying the arrest of alleged Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant Liyaqat Shah by Delhi Police. The arrest has affected his government’s programme to rehabilitate former militants, he said.

Shah, he said, was not headed to Delhi to carry out terror attacks.

“If a man comes to attack a shopping mall, will he bring his wife and children? I am hearing for the first time that a militant came to attack holding the hand of his wife and carrying weapons in the other hand, as if going for a picnic,” he said.

“We have taken up the issue with the Centre because we know if Shah is wronged, others who want to avail the surrender policy will hold back,” Omar rued. On the “selective’ execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, he said, “I had told the Centre about the consequences of hanging Afzal on Kashmir Valley but they did not agree with me.”

If you (Centre) can disagree with my assertion that Afzal’s hanging will effect peace process in the state, why can’t you show the same resolve in revoking AFSPA vis-a-vis those who oppose it,” he said, adding: “Naxals blow up a helicopter, but you don’t impose AFSPA there. No helicopters are shot down in Kashmir, but you have a different yardstick for J&K.”

He was referring to Maoists shooting down a military helicopter in Chhattisgarh earlier this year.

The Chief Minister said that the fidayeen attack at Bemina is a clear example that it was carried out despite AFSPA.

Omar questioned those who repeatedly talked about Kashmir being an integral part of India “Nobody in the state has challenged the accession. If we talk of the necessity of resolving this political issue having Indo-Pak external dimension and internal dimension between the Union Government and the State, do we cease to be Indians?”

The chief minister said by repeating the word ‘Atoot Ang’ (integral part) time and again, “you cannot change the political status of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“I have always said that Kashmir will be true part of India when you win over the hearts of the people and care for their hopes and aspirations. If you reject them, there will be alienation. Every Kashmiri is not Pakistani,” he said.

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