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Statehood before polls a must: Omar tells Modi govt

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that his party is ready for assembly elections since 2019 but Government of India must restore statehood first before conducting polls.

Addressing media in Jammu, after meeting workers from various districts of the region, the National Conference vice president said: “The decision about holding polls has to be taken by the election commission. We are ready for Assembly elections since 2019 (the year Centre scrapped Article 370). But we demand that GoI must first restore statehood before conducting polls in J&K”

Omar said that NC will continue to fight for the rights of people of J&K legally in Supreme Court.

The former J&K chief minister said that unemployment has increased manifold in J&K, many employment opportunities have been snatched, Darbar Move practice (which has been barred by government) is beneficial for traders of Jammu than those in Kashmir adding. “Nobody has got benefits of Article 370 rollback,” he claimed.

Omar trained his guns at the Modi govt for holding talks with the Taliban. He said that the government should ‘make up its mind’ on whether it considers the Taliban a terror organization.’

“Either Taliban is a terror organisation or not, please clarify to us how you see them. If they are a terror group, why are you talking to them? If not, then will you move to the United Nations and have it delisted as a terror organisation? Make up your mind clear,” Omar said.

Pertinently, Indian envoy to Qatar Deepak Mittal had met Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha on Tuesday, the first high-level contact between the two sides on a day the US completed withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.

About Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone’s criticism on the PAGD, Omar said that Sajad has no right to talk or oppose Gupkar Alliance. “He was himself part of PAGD and the way he left the alliance is an eye-opener to all. Sajad shouldn’t talk about PAGD,” Omar said

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