Pak can seek India’s help if it cannot handle militancy alone’

Pak can seek India’s help if it cannot handle militancy alone’
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New Delhi, Dec 2: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday said Pakistan can seek India’s help if it cannot handle the fight against militancy alone.
He asserted there have not been any major militancy related incident in the country in over four years of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
“I want to ask the Pakistani prime minister (Imran Khan) that if in Aghanistan, a fight can be carried out against terror and Taliban with the help of the US, then, Pakistan can seek help against militancy from India if it feels that it cannot handle it alone,” he said.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said Jammu and Kashmir was not an issue as it was an integral part of the country. “The issue is of militancy, and Pakistan can discuss it,” Singh said.
The Home Minister also accused the Congress of creating a crisis of distrust in politics and claimed there was a difference in their words and deeds.
“I do not want to claim that militancy has stopped, but no major militant incident has happened in the country in last four-and-a-half years, he said.
Militancy is confined only to Kashmir where also situation is improving, Singh said adding Panchayat elections in J&K is being conducted successfully.
“The government has brought Jammu and Kashmir into political process. As far as militancy is concerned, there is no second thought that it is Pakistan sponsored,” the Home Minister said.
The Union minister asserted that the country and its borders are safe. Militancy has reduced and the problem of naxalism will get eliminated from the country in the coming years, he added.
Naxal related incidents have come down by 50-60 per cent in the last four years, he said, adding it has reduced from 90 districts to only 8-9 districts and that the problem will get eliminated in next three to five years.
After agreeing to open the Kartapur corridor, Pakistan was expecting India to engage in dialogue. However, India refused to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad saying there will be no dialogue with Pakistan until it stops sponsoring militancy.
The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came under the limelight after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned politician friend Khan as the prime minister of the country. Clearing India’s position on the SAARC summit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that although India welcomed the development of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, it would not have any dialogue with Islamabad till it stopped sponsoring militancy.
“Bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are two different things. I am very happy that for the last 20 years, rather many years, the government of India has been asking for this Kartarpur corridor and for the first time Pakistan responded positively,” she said.
India had also expressed its displeasure over Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan raising the issue of Kashmir in his speech during the ground-breaking ceremony for the development of the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday. Hitting out at Khan for politicising the “pious occasion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Kashmir was an integral and inalienable part of India.
“I am saying today, that our political leaders, our army, and all other institutions are all on one page. We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. We have just one problem, Kashmir. If a man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve?” Khan said at the ceremony.
The Pakistani prime minister had recently addressed the issue of terrorism on completion of 100 days of his government. “It is not in our interest to allow the use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside. People in Pakistan want peace with India. The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said. His comments on terrorism came just a day after Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear that India would not attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad “until and unless” Pakistan stopped sponsoring militancy.