NEW DELHI: India is ready to resume dialogue with Pakistan provided the latter commits to stop state sponsored terrorism, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in parliament.
Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha, the home minister said that the UPA government has kept a condition before Pakistan that the dialogue can only begin if Pakistan agrees to stop state sponsored terrorism.
JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav asked the government that the Agenda for Governance contains that India will hold talks with Pakistan and why the government is shying away from it.
“The demand for ending state sponsored terrorism was kept by previous government. Pakistan should make an attempt and speak openly that it will take measures to end terrorism and if needed will take support of other countries in doing so,” Singh told the house.
Describing about the steps taken to improve situation in the state, Singh said that he invited discussion with all stakeholders whenever he visited valley.
“Not just me, the entire nation wants that situation should normalize in Kashmir and to achieve that we are ready to cooperate. We have taken all initiative and there have been no dearth of official communication and J&K chief minister herself has written a letter inviting them (separatists) for talks but they did not come,” Singh informed the house.
The minister said that a parliamentary delegation led by him also visited the state and two of the senior members Yechury (Sitaram) and Yadav went to talk with them but they were snubbed.
“The government never wants to take credit and we cannot alone improve the situation in the state. We need the support of every citizen to solve the Kashmir issue,” he added.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nadi Azad asked the minister about steps taken to generate employment in the state.
Singh said that 10000 Special Police Officers recruitment has been done directly under central government and five new Indian Reserve Battalions consisting of 4500 personnel was done.
Replying to another question on ceasefire violations, Minister of State for Home Affairs Gang Ram Ahir said that post surgical strike by the army across the Line of Control (LoC), incidents of terror attacks and ceasefire violations have come down in the valley.
The minister of state said that there were 228 incidents of ceasefire violation on LoC and 221 on International Boarder (IB) were reported in 2016 while till February, 2017, the numbers are 22 on LoC and 6 at IB.
“Three months before surgical strike in September 29, 2016, there were 110 incidents of encounters between forces and militants in Kashmir killing 37 security personnel. Three months post surgical strike, number of incident stands at 87 and 19 security personnel were killed,” said Ahir.