National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Monday said that peace will never return to Jammu and Kashmir till the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power.
“Peace will not return to J&K till the BJP is in power”, Omar told media persons on the sidelines of a public meeting in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday.
Omar was responding to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement earlier in the day that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will go from Jammu and Kashmir too but only when “permanent peace” will be restored.
Singh was speaking at a Security Conclave organised by the BJP at the University of Jammu.
The former Chief Minister said that militancy has not only spread across the J&K but even in Rajouri and Poonch areas which were considered safe and free of militancy.
He said the areas where they thought to remove the AFSPA before 2014, which were completely cleared of militancy, still have militants.
“There is no place in Kashmir, including Srinagar, where the presence of militancy is not visible”, he said.
And recently, what we have seen in Rajouri and Poonch areas proves that militancy still exists in those particular areas where, before a few years, everything was normal, Omar said.
“This much we can say that until these (BJP) people are in power, militancy will never be over in Jammu and Kashmir”, he observed.
In a question about Home Minister Amit Shah saying that the opposition meeting in Bihar was just a photo shoot, Omar said time will prove whether it was a photo shoot or not.
He said ultimately, the BJP was forced to make a statement on it. If the Home Minister of India, who is considered the second most powerful personality in the country, himself makes a statement, providing enough proof of the success of the opposition meeting in Bihar, “What would be the outcome of this meeting? Let us wait till the 2024 elections to be wondering right now”, he told media persons.
Regarding the election boycott by his party in the past, Omar said “What happened in the past regarding the boycott of elections has gone by the days…today we are not ready to boycott elections. Whichever elections are held, we will participate enthusiastically and fully try to win them.”
Regarding the Manipur violence, Omar expressed pity that it has now been over 50 days since the violence erupted there. He said no measures are being taken to stop the ongoing bloodshed there. Maybe the area is far away from Delhi, which is why it is being ignored, he added.
He said he hopes that the central government will try their best to restore peace in Manipur.