Jammu, Mar 24: NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana on Tuesday welcomed the release of former chief minister Omar Abdullah after nearly eight months of detention, describing it a "step in the right direction".
"It is a defining moment that will go a long way in further strengthening democracy and initiating genuine political activities in Jammu and Kashmir," Rana said in a statement here.
The National Conference (NC) vice president was released after charges under the Public Safety Act (PSA), slapped on him in February, were revoked.
He spent 232 days in custody since the government announced abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state on August 5 last year.
Rana expressed hope that Abdullah's release would lead to the release of all other political leaders against whom there are no criminal charges.
"This is imperative for generating an atmosphere of trust and creating conducive conditions to resume healthy political discourse in the larger interest of the people," he said.
He said the NC has always been a strong votary of democracy and secularism, which he described as the cherished agenda of party founder, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and political philosophy of the party that stands guarantee to steering Jammu and Kashmir to peace and prosperity.