US envoy skips meeting separatists in J-K; praises Omar Srinagar : In a virtual snub to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer today said he met only Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during his two-day visit to the state as he was the elected representative of the people "The purpose of the visit is that he (Chief Minister) is elected leader. The Chief Minister is the person who represents the people here in Jammu and Kashmir," he told reporters when asked about his not meeting separatists. He said he had a productive and engaging meeting with the Chief Minister but said that he was in the state for only two days and did not have time to meet too many people. "You are limited in time and I cannot meet everybody as I was here for only two days," he said and left no one in doubt that US sees Jammu and Kashmir as part of India like any other state. Political observers see the decision of US ambassador to not interact with the separatists as a major snub to the separatist outfits in the valley. Separatists leaders including Hurriyat Conference were unwilling for comments immediately. Roemer said he wanted to meet the people of the state and learn more about the people of Jammu and Kashmir as he has been doing in rest of India. "I wanted to meet the people as I have been doing all over India, the students who are the future leaders at a school like this," he said. Roemer visited the Srinagar branch of Delhi Public School at Athwajan, in the outskirts of the city, and was all praise for the activities undertaken by the school management. He took out time to interact with the students in the playfield and even tried his hands at basket ball. The US ambassador said during his ride in the Dal Lake yesterday, he was able to interact with the people in the area and see some of the challenges they face on environmental issues. "Knowing that India and the US are working closely on environment and education issues, these are two issues that President (Barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh have outlined as part of our strategic cooperation. "There are ways to, hopefully in the future, anticipate what we might be doing in education and environment and all other different areas," he added. Roemer brushed aside a question on action being taken by the US on the issue of Major (retd) Avatar Singh, an accused in the murder case of a human rights activists in Kashmir nearly 20 years ago, and said he will not react to individual cases. "The US stands firmly and strongly on human rights issues. We are working universally to promote human rights issues," he said.