NC welcomes Indo-Pak thaw, let there be open talks now: Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah while speaking during a party function in Pulwama

JAMMU — Lambasting the government claims over normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister and Vice President of the National Conference, Omar Abdullah on Friday said that flight operations and tourism cannot be considered signs of normalcy.

He also said that if the situation is peaceful, the government should conduct polls at the earliest or else should accept that the situation is deteriorating than in 1996.

Interacting with media persons on the sidelines of a workers’ meeting and NC’s medical center inauguration in Jammu, Omar said that earlier the government claimed that Articles 35-A and 370 is the sole reason for militancy and separatism in Kashmir and both will end after repealing of Article 35-A and 370.

“However, the reality is in front of us and situation in Kashmir is not conducive by anyhow and rather is deteriorating,” Omar said as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), adding that the target killings are on the rise and areas like Uptown in Srinagar and north Kashmir are also getting troublesome in terms of militancy.

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In reply to a question regarding the Delimitation exercise, Omar said that population is an important criterion for delimitation and in that context, an increase of six seats in Jammu and one in Kashmir cannot be justified.

He, however, added that the main problem is with the nature of delimitation for existing constituencies and the way new boundaries have been drawn as it all has been done to benefit a particular party in Jammu and its partners in Kashmir.

“The report has been prepared on the basis of politics and not keeping in mind the ground realities,” Omar further said.

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Over resolution on loudspeaker ban in Jammu, he said that this issue is related to citizens of every religion and concerned administration should find a midway rather than making a decision, which affects religious sentiments of every citizen as loudspeakers are installed at every religious place.

Pitching for early Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said that if the government is not going to hold elections at this point in time then it should accept that situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not conducive and is worse than in 1996.

He further stated that the number of flights and tourist footfall is not a sign of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and the present situation is at a level where government officials inside offices and police personnel in their houses are falling prey to bullets.

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