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Kashmir Unrest A 'Cross' I Will Have To Bear My Whole Life: Omar

New Delhi Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said the three-month civil unrest in the Kashmir Valley is a "cross" he will have to bear for the rest of his life.As the Valley
PTI October 08, 2010 9:10 IST
PTI
New Delhi Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said the three-month civil unrest in the Kashmir Valley is a "cross" he will have to bear for the rest of his life.

As the Valley slowly limps back to normalcy, Omar also slammed intelligence agencies, saying its inputs to the Jammu and Kashmir government was not worth the paper it was printed on.

"I will have to live with these three-and-a-half or four months for the rest of my life... It's a cross I will have to bear for the rest of my life," the 40-year-old chief minister told 'India Today' magazine in an interview.Omar made these remarks when asked about the recent unrest in the Valley that has claimed the lives of 110 persons."These were really bad days. I tried my best to get things on an even keel," he said.

Omar also replied in the negative when asked whether he thought of resigning from his post at some point of time during the civil strife."No. The easiest thing would've been to do so during the riots. But it's not in my nature to run and have someone else to clear up the mess," he said.

Asked whether he was not alerted by intelligence agencies as violence spiralled, Omar's response was: "Often, the intelligence we get is not worth the paper it is printed on, and that's a charitable way of putting it.”

"Most of the reports are simply accounts of what has happened and there are no assessments of what is likely to happen. The presumption that Kashmir is simply crawling with intelligence operatives is ridiculous," he said.

"You can't create a network of credible information and analysis overnight. In the last 20-odd years of militancy, our intelligence system has deteriorated. I am making a huge effort to overhaul the CID structure," the chief minister added.Omar rejected allegations that he had disbanded existing intelligence structures in the state.

"I haven't disbanded anything. I am working with whatever infrastructure is in place," he said.Omar, the third-eneration Abdullah family member, also said he does not want his children to be in politics. Omar's father is Farooq Abdullah while Sheikh Abdullah is his grandfather.When asked whether he was the last Abdullah, he said: "I certainly hope so." Omar has two sons.

Omar said: "I've also tried my best to go out and meet people, and not stay confined to the office. I've tried to reduce the barrier of security between myself and the people," he said.Asked about his equation with Rahul Gandhi, Omar said his relationship with the Congress leader doesn't have the kind of influence the earlier generations had on the state.

"It's probably because he is starting out in politics and so am I. It's not as if he influences decisions, at least not overtly," he added. Rahul had backed Omar at the peak of the civil unrest in the Kashmir Valley when the chief minister had come in for criticism for his handling of the situation.

Omar said he did not agree with the assessment sometimes made about him that he was "quick and impulsive". "I actually spend a lot of time mulling over things and the decisions to be taken."

To a query whether the part of the problem in the state is due to any disconnect between the Jammu and Kashmir police and the Army, Omar said the relationship mostly between the two is one that is mutually supportive.

"Certainly, there are stray incidents of conflict of interests. But the Army cannot conduct operations without the state police and vice versa. They share a working relationship," he added.