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Omar Abdullah’s reply when he was asked about India-Pak war likelihood

He was speaking at an interaction session during a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organised by the students of New York University in New York
Omar Abdullah : Former J&K CM and National Conference leader

Opposition leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday expressed that he doesn’t see an imminent war looming between India and Pakistan.

He believes that the two countries were a “lot more careful” about the prospect of war than some of the news channels would like them to be.

Asked whether India and Pakistan were at the brink of war, Abdullah said, ” I don’t believe we are.”

“I am not one of those who sees imminent war looming in the sub-continent. I’d like to believe that both governments in New Delhi and Islamabad are a lot more careful about the prospect of war than perhaps some of our TV channels would like them to be,” Abdullah said, speaking  at a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organised by the students of New York University in New York.

According to a news agency report, Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf was also scheduled to speak at the conference but he cancelled his appearance at the last minute citing “security concerns”.

In the interaction session, there were several moments of animated discussions, some heated arguments and loud cheers during Abdullah. The gathering included students from both India and Pakistan. They discussed on Kashmir, the surgical strikes by India, killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, tensions with Pakistan, plight of Kashmiri Pandits and Article 370.

The former J&K Chief Minister said while there is tension along the Line of Control (LoC) and the ceasefire is “under a bit more pressure” than it was at the same time last year, India and Pakistan are not at the brink of war.

Abdullah noted that the government of India has been very careful “in moderating how it has sold” to the rest of the world the surgical strikes conducted across the Line of Control.

“The government of India has been very careful in explaining what they have done post the Uri militant attack. They have told the world this (surgical strikes) was an anti-terror operation conducted in the vicinity of the LoC,” he said adding that the government has not gone into giving details of how far they went inside the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes.

“What that has allowed is for an opportunity for a sort of a more nuanced response on the part of Pakistan,” he said adding that there would have been “enormous pressure” on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to retaliate had the Indian government spoken of how far they went across the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes.

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