Reserves decision on ceasefire extension
Srinagar, Jun 7: Deciding not to give hype to the separatist leaders of Kashmir by asserting that Centre would hold talks with right minded people if not like minded, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday said that he will hold another round of deliberations with the security grid of the State and the Chief Minister before announcing extension to ceasefire.
He punctured the talk’s balloon by refusing a direct invitation to the separatist leaders as has been the clamour for the past over a week.
According to reports, Home Minister while addressing a press conference arranged by the JK government here at SKICC said, that ceasefire extension decision will be taken after reviewing the situation with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and other security establishments.
However Home Minister claimed that in spite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ceasefire announcement, Pakistan “continues to violate the ceasefire”.
Home Minister further said that dialogue about Kashmir is needed with “right-minded people” and not necessarily like-minded people to succeed. “We can talk to anyone. We are open to talks with all. But talks should be for peace. For talks, you need not to speak to like-minded people but it is important to talk to right-minded people,” Rajnath Singh maintained.
He said the central government intended to open a dialogue in Kashmir and therefore appointed its Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma who visited the state 11 times since he was given the assignment in October last year.
“He doesn’t come here on tourist trips. He meets the people of the state to find solutions to their problems. I am sticking to what I said on my first visit to Kashmir (as Home Minister) that we want talks with every section of the society to resolve their problems,” he maintained.
He said the BJP government was firmly committed to solve the problems of Kashmir and not to let it linger on.
According to reports Home Minister alleged that Pakistan wanted to destabilize India because of its “fastest growing economy.” “Nobody should do politics with the future of the youth. Don’t do politics with future of youth,” he stressed.
Rajnath Singh also hit out at Pakistan for “promoting” militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. “I would like to repeat that no matter how many obstacles come in our (Centre’s) way, we will not be deterred in our aim to bring lasting peace to Kashmir,” he said.
The Home Minister was flanked by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Kavindar Gupta, MoS in PMO Jitendra Singh and Union Home Secretary.
Referring to separatists, he said that peace in the Kashmir Valley is being disrupted by elements, who are misleading and provoking the youth.
“They (separatists) can play any kind of politics, but they should not play with the future of children, these children are not only the children of Kashmir, but also of India, they are an asset. Keeping this in mind, we took back cases of first time stone pelters,” he said.
“Giving your children the best of education and handing out stones to the children of others? What is this? I always felt there is a lot of talent in the youth here, IAS, IIM etc results are a proof. Youth are being misguided by certain forces,” he said.
Prasing the armed forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police, he said, “I have no hesitation in saying that our security forces, including the army and police, have worked with utmost restrain
He said that Centre had decided to withdraw cases against those “misled into stone pelting” as it was concerned about the future of Jammu and Kashmir’s youth.
“We believe that children anywhere are the same. We understand that some youth were misled into stone pelting. Children can make mistakes. That is why we decided to withdraw the cases against those children who were involved in stone pelting,” he said.
Singh appealed to the youth not to tread the path of destruction and said the Centre and the state government had initiated several schemes to help them secure their future.
Lauding the state government for carrying out works for improving the sports infrastructure, the home minister said funds will not be a problem for promoting sports in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile sources said that earlier the union home minister in a high level meeting at SKICC, review the overall security situation especially since May 16 when the Centre unilaterally announced suspension of anti militant operations during the month of Ramadhan.
Sources said that the police, CRPF, army and intelligence officials briefed Rajnath about the post-ceasefire security situation in Kashmir. The security officials gave their feedback to him in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.”
The recent incidents of stone pelting, attacks on security forces in the Kashmir Valley and infiltration attempts along the border figured in the meeting.
Sources said that Rajnaht will stay in Srinagar for night and tomorrow morning will travel to Kupwara where he will review some projects being undertaken as part of the Border Area Development Programme.
Sources said that in the afternoon he will visit Jammu and take stock of the situation along the International Border, where at least 20 people, including a dozen security personnel, have been killed in firing by Pakistani forces. (KNS)