Govt taking steps to restore peace in Kashmir: Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 22: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said that the government is taking all steps to ensure a return of normalcy to Jammu and Kashmir.
Jaitley said that the government policy is to bring peace and that the government works on the basis of what steps are supposed to be taken to bring normalcy back.
“There was a situation (in the Valley) when civil disobedience was at its peak. There were thousands of stone-pelters. Militants were picking their targets as they liked… Hurriyat would give a call whenever they liked and paralyse everything,” Jaitley said.
“Today, the situation has changed. Security forces have an upper hand. It has become difficult for stone-pelters to gather a crowd. The Hurriyat has been exposed,” he added.
The government, Jaitley said, through its interlocutor, intends to engage with all who want to talk to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“In a situation like this, the government through its new initiative is engaging with those who want to talk. We are trying to bring back normalcy. What efforts are to be made will be decided by our special representative and the state government,” he said.
The Centre on October 24 appointed former Intelligence Bureau Director Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir.
Last week, Sharma had briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh after holding the first round of talks with various sections of the society in Kashmir.
Sharma made his presentation at a core group meeting, chaired by Rajnath for a security review of Jammu and Kashmir. It was also attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and top brass of Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), NIA and para-military forces.