Our future linked to J&K: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, at a press conference in Srinagar on Thursday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

The future of India and Kashmir is linked, Union Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Thursday, stating that the Centre was willing to talk to all groups, including the separatists.

During his visit to Kashmir, the Minister announced reconciliatory measures to douse the 47-day unrest in the State, including replacing pellet guns and sending an all-party delegation.

Addressing a joint press conference with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Mr. Singh said, “An expert committee on pellet guns will submit its report soon to find an alternative. Whether a civilian or a soldier dies, it pains the entire nation. However, nobody will be allowed to play with the future of Kashmir.”

He said the forces were “exercising maximum restraint” and more than 4,600 security personnel had been injured so far.

Though facing a boycott from separatists, prominent civil society groups and traders’ bodies, Mr. Singh, who met most mainstream leaders and around 300 people during his two-day stay, announced a slew of measures such as raising a paramilitary battalion in the Valley, setting up a nodal agency for Kashmiris living outside the State and hiring 10,000 Special Police Officers.

Asking Ms. Mufti to make preparations for the all-party meeting, Mr. Singh said he was ready to talk to all, including separatists. “We are ready to talk to those who believe in Insaaniyat [humanity], Jamooriyat [democracy] and Kashmiriyat … People should not question our understanding of the problem.”

He also assured Ms. Mufti that the BJP was committed to implementing the ‘Agenda of Alliance’.

Ms. Mufti said there was need to reach out to those who believed that a solution could be achieved within the ambit of Insaaniyat, as spelled by the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 10:00:48 PM |

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