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Awami National Conference rubbishes claims of threat to Amarnath yatra

Saturday, 22 June 2013 - 4:24pm IST Updated: Saturday, 22 June 2013 - 4:26pm IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: PTI

Widow of former Chief Minister GA Shah, Khalida Shah said Kashmiris will not compromise with the traditional hospitality and will lend their support to the yatra.
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The Awami National Conference (ANC) on Saturday rejected any threat to the upcoming Amarnath yatra, saying it is a deliberate attempt to "defame" the famous hospitality of Kashmiris to keep the visitors away from the state.

"The (Amarnath) pilgrimage was never under the threat in the Valley...it is a deliberate attempt to push the state into uncertainty and create such an atmosphere wherein nobody dares to come here," President of ANC and widow of the former Chief Minister GA Shah, Khalida Shah, told reporters here.

Khalida, who was flanked by her son and senior vice president of the party Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, said the bogey of the threat was a deliberate attempt to hurt the hospitality of Kashmiris which is world famous.

"Kashmiris are not mad to attack the yatra. Even during the peak of militancy, the pilgrimage was never under threat. How it is possible now that the yatra will be attacked," Khalida, who is the estranged sister of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, said.

She said Kashmiris will not compromise with the traditional hospitality and will lend their support to the yatra.

Referring to the Kashmir issue, the ANC president said downplaying the problem will not help and stressed the need for addressing the vexed issue for better future, peace and prosperity in the region.

"Resolution of Kashmir issue is the most important thing...It is of no use saying Kashmir is not an issue," she said adding "if Kashmir is not an issue, then why India and Pakistan are meeting frequently to discuss the problem? what was the reason behind the nomination of interlocutors and the need for (Prime Minister's) working groups?"

On the present coalition government led by her nephew Omar Abdullah in the state, she said "whenever something good happens in the state, the credit goes to the coalition government but whenever there is something wrong, Omar comes under attack. It is not good."

However, she said there is lack of accountability in the state.

"My party is desirous of such a government in the state wherein the people should get their right. We want such a government which can give good governance to the people...the people of the state have tasted such a government during the period of GA Shah," she said.

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