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India does not want war with Pak, but friendship cannot be one-sided: Omar

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: October 23, 2013
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-does-not-want-war-with-pak-but-friendship-cannot-be-onesided-omar/1186277/0

Voicing concern at the heavy shelling in border areas, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said no one in India was in favour of war with Pakistan but friendship cannot be one-sided affair.

"No one in Jammu and Kashmir or in the country is in favour of war as the wars are no solution to any issue...The shelling by Pakistan on the villages in Jammu and other areas has made me seriously concerned about the life of people living in frontier areas," Omar said addressing a public meeting near the Line of Control (LoC).

Reiterating his advocacy for peace and tranquillity between India and Pakistan, Omar said wars have never solved any issue and these only bring destruction and miseries. He, however, said friendship requires equal response from both sides.

"Friendship is like the clap needing two hands to perform. If one side extends the hand of friendship, the other side also needs to reciprocate," he said expressing concern over the violation of ceasefire and shelling at LoC and IB.

On Monday, Omar had said that the Centre would have to look at the possibility of "responding in kind" if Pakistan continued to violate ceasefire along the LoC and international border in the state.

"Obviously this cannot be a one-sided affair. It cannot be a situation where we are the receiving end and no response is given," Omar had told reporters on the sidelines of a function, drawing strong criticism from various quarters especially separatists who termed his statement as "highly provocative" and "politically immature".

The Chief Minister said he would continue to stress on the Centre to take up the ceasefire violations with the Pakistan and resolve the issue so that peace rules the roost on borders and on the Line of Control.

"The ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan signed and implemented in 2003 has been highest reward for the people of Jammu and Kashmir particularly living on the LOC and International Border (IB). This is in the highest interests of the people of the state particularly residing in the frontier areas of Jammu, Kashmir and Kargil," he said.
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