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India lost opportunity to resolve Kashmir dispute: Omar

Hiranagar, February 21, 2008:

The main opposition party in Indian administered Kashmir National Conference President Omar Abdullah Wednesday said that India has lost yet another opportunity to resolve the vexed Kashmir dispute.

Abdullah who is also the member of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian bicameral parliament here today said that in 2006 after his visit to Pakistan and meeting with the Pakistan President Parvez Musharaf he had informed the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India and Pakistan had just one year to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

"I told the Indian PM that India has an opportunity to find an honourable dignified solution to Kashmir imbroglio that is acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir," he said.

"I told him that if we do not resolve the Kashmir dispute by mid 2007 we will loose a golden opportunity because the situation in both countries would change," he said. "Now with the situation that is emerging in Pakistan and the coming assembly elections in various Indian states and then the parliamentary elections in India it is most likely that the solution to the Kashmir dispute will get deferred by a couple of years."

The pro-Indian politician Omar said it was unfortunate that New Delhi and Islamabad lost this opportunity by not changing their stated positions and getting influenced by the mindsets prevailing in the two countries about Kashmir.

He said that a statesmen approach both on the part of Indian and Pakistani leadership and stable internal situation in both the countries is essential for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

The NC president said he hoped that in the coming days the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan improve which alone can ensure peace in Kashmir.

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