Omar briefs Modi on security situation in J-K

Omar briefs Modi on security situation in J-KNEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him about the prevailing security situation in the state and various other issues including return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.

Omar, who was in the national capital, had earlier met Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Emerging after a 20-minute-long meeting with the Prime Minister, Omar said, “It was a courtesy call during which I briefed him about various issues”.

Omar later tweeted that he discussed the situation in the state including tourism, economy, electricity and employment avenues as also about the security situation and the assessment for the next few months including preparations for Amarnath yatra.

This was the first meeting of Omar with top NDA central leadership during which the issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley was also discussed.

The forthcoming Amarnath Yatra also figured prominently during the meeting and Omar briefed the Home Minister about the arrangements made for smooth conduct of the pilgrimage which will commence later this month.

The Centre has been actively considering the state’s proposal for return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley in which the Omar government had proposed increasing the amount for construction or repair work in their houses to Rs 20 lakh from existing Rs 7.5 lakh per family.

This proposal was sent to the previous UPA government but no decision for enhancement of the amount from Rs.7.5 lakh was taken.

Kashmiri Pandits had left the Valley in 1990 with the outbreak of militancy and the number such migrants in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country are estimated somewhere between six and seven lakhs.

The package for enhancement of monetary assistance was sent by the state government in 2012 but nothing was done about it. “I am glad that the present government is actively considering the proposal with some modifications,” he said, adding, “we are supportive of this measure”. Asked about the Center’s decision to promote Hindi language, Omar said, “We have Urdu and English as official languages. So Hindi can’t be forced.”

“I’ve opposed it and have explained my opposition particularly in the context of Jammu and Kashmir where our official languages are English and Urdu,” he said.

With the state going to polls later this year, Omar refused to answer questions on whether his party, National Conference, will have an alliance with Congress. “It’s too premature to even ask,” he said.–PTI