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As Delhi talks with Taliban, Omar Abdullah tells Centre: Decide if it’s terror outfit or not

Also, Omar added, if the government deems it is not a terror outfit, “then please move the United Nations to have it removed from the list of terror organisations — let their bank account start functioning, and let us not treat them differently.”

By: Express News Service | Jammu |
Updated: September 2, 2021 7:21:40 am
NC chief Farooq Abdullah and party vice-president Omar Abdullah during a party meeting in Jammu, Wednesday. (PTI)

A day after India officially talked to the Taliban, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday asked the Centre to clarify its stand on Taliban, and whether the government considers it a terror organisation

“Is the Taliban a terror organisation or not? If it is not, will you move the United Nations to have it de-listed as a terror organisation, as right now you are presiding over the UN Security Council,’’ Omar said, replying to a question whether India will engage with the Taliban, which has taken control of much of Afghanistan, including capital Kabul.

Also, Omar added, if the government deems it is not a terror outfit, “then please move the United Nations to have it removed from the list of terror organisations — let their bank account start functioning, and let us not treat them differently.”

“They (the Centre) have already started engaging with them,’’ he said, referring to reports about India having had talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. He also asked the Centre that if it is a terrorist organisation, then how the government can distinguish between the Taliban and other terror outfits.

Asking the government to “make up (its) mind” on status of the Taliban, Omar said, “You cannot have different yardsticks for different organisations…. I am not a decision-maker, nor do my views matter to you.”

In reply to a question, the NC vice-president said only the Centre can answer what impact the situation in Afghanistan will have on Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar, who along with NC president and Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah had, earlier in the day, held a nearly four-hour-long meeting with party workers from Jammu at the Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan here, also asked the BJP-led government at the Centre to first restore statehood to J&K before going for Assembly polls.

On Tuesday, J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha had said that Assembly elections will be held once the delimitation exercise is over in the UT, and that the Centre is committed to restore statehood of J&K.

Replying to a question today, Omar said that the decision to hold elections in J&K lies with the Election Commission. “We were prepared for polls in 2019 also, when the state government fell and the Assembly was dissolved,” he said. “Whenever you (Centre) want to hold elections, hold it. But first restore our statehood.”

He mentioned that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have said in Parliament that statehood will be restored to J&K. “For rest of the things, such as Article 370, we will continue to fight in the Supreme Court,’’ he said.

Asking the Centre “why to delay a good deed,’’ he said the Union government should “announce statehood before elections and then hold the polls’’.

He also questioned the Centre on its decision to abrogate special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370, and asked who has benefitted from the August 5, 2019 decision.

Referring to the recent government decision to do away with the practice of annual darbar move between Jammu and Srinagar, Omar said, “You have snatched even the resources from where people had been earning earlier.” he said that “one has to accept that financially, traders of Jammu were benefitted more than their Kashmir counterpart” on account of the darbar move practice.

Even after August 5, 2019, corruption has not been tackled and people continue to complain about lack of development works, he said.

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