India & Pakistan must move beyond secret talks, resolve issues through open dialogue: Omar Abdullah

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Srinagar, Mar 27 (PTI) National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah on Saturday welcomed the peace overtures between India and Pakistan, but said the two countries must move beyond secret talks and have an open dialogue to resolve all issues including Kashmir.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a party function in Pulwama district in south Kashmir, Omar said his party has always maintained that the betterment of not only Jammu and Kashmir, but the whole of south Asia lies in the friendship between the two countries.

“It is good that the two countries are talking about friendship rather than threatening each other, but there is still much more to do,” he said.

Referring to reports of secret talks between India and Pakistan, the NC vice-president said the two countries must have an open dialogue to address all issues.

“We have heard that secret talks were held, we wish the day would come sooner when they will sit across the table and have an open dialogue on all issues and there are a lot of issues be it J-K or something else. We want them to resolve all the issues through dialogue,” he said.

Asked about the Enforcement Directorate questioning PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Omar said that is the price one pays for opposing the Centre's policies.

“From J-K to Tamil Nadu, from Assam to Gujarat, Mehbooba Mufti is not the first leader and will not be the last (to be questioned by the ED). Unfortunately, for the last few years, it has been our experience that the price for opposing the Centre's policies is a summon by these agencies. But, wherever these actions take place, they will be fought strongly,” the NC leader said. PTI SSB HDA