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Pakistan ‘not’ behind current unrest in Kashmir, says Omar Abdullah

Abdullah was speaking to media representatives following a meeting of opposition parties in Srinagar.

He urged the centre to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders in the state and with Pakistan immediately if it was keen to end rising violence in the state, said Indian media reports.

The former chief minister alleged that “Pakistan may be fishing in troubled waters as has been their practice in past, but they are not the architect of this problem.”

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Indian governments since partition had been blaming Pakistan for promoting violence and terror elements in the divided Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state India has held as a hostage for years. However, Pakistan has always denied the allegations.

“When you say Kashmir is an integral part of India, you are talking only about the land. You need to own the people (living in that land),” Omar said.

Separatists have been fighting Indian security forces in the held Kashmir since 1989 for the independence of the region or for it to be made part of Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

India’s prime minister recently accused Pakistan of fomenting trouble in the Kashmir valley, claiming there was enough evidence to prove it was fuelling unrest in the region.

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“They (Pakistan) are not the ones keeping it (violence) alive. It is our inability to recognise this anger that is keeping it alive,” Abdullah continued.

Abdullah was not happy at Modi’s recent comment about Balochistan he made during his Independence Day speech, which he thought was an unnecessary statement at a time when Kashmir has been hit by violence.

“Today, both the state and the Central governments are turning a blind eye to the situation. If you don’t recognise the anger if you don’t address the root cause of this anger, how will the anger die? That’s why we are telling the Centre, ‘Please recognise (that) there is a problem’,” Abdullah insisted.

Indian-held Kashmir has been under a curfew since violent protests broke out over the death last month of a popular young separatist leader – Burhan Wani – in a gunfight with Indian forces. Since then at least 80 civilians have died and thousands of others wounded during clashes and protests in the valley.



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