Rajnath Singh says Centre won’t go against sentiments of Jammu and Kashmir people

The home minister said that Centre won’t go against sentiments of Jammu and Kashmir people on Article 35-A.

Published: 11th September 2017 08:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2017 12:30 AM   |  A+A-

Home Minister Rajnath Singh | PTI

Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, Monday announced that the central government’s permanent solution to Jammu and Kashmir was based on 5Cs and said centre won’t go against the sentiments of J&K people as far as special status of the State including Article 35-A was concerned.

“I can say that trees of peace in Kashmir are not dry. Green buds of peace are visible in these trees,” Singh, who is on a 4-day visit to the State, told reporters while addressing a press conference, here.

He said he had seen it before also and that is why talked about permanent solution of J&K problem.

Singh announced that their permanent solution to J&K problem is based on 5 Cs - Compassion, Communication, Coexistence, Confidence building and consistency.

“It is our efforts that people of J&K achieve honour and dignity alongwith peace. We will work in this regard and our efforts will be that both dignity and honour are safe,” he said.

The home minister said he has visited the State five times in last one and a half year.

“I want to assure J&K people that I will come 50 times a year if necessary. I will make whatever efforts are needed for peace and prosperity of the State. My intention of frequently visiting Kashmir is clear that we want to resolve the J&K problem,” he said.

Singh said his 4-day visit to the State was the follow-up of August 15 speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he had said Kashmir problem can’t be solved by bullets or abuses but by embracing them.

“Whatever he said, I have come here to carry forward that process and make it reality,” he said.

On a petition challenging validity of Article 35-A in Supreme court, Singh said, “Central government has not initiated anything in this regard and nor went to the court”.

“I assure you that not only on Article 35-A, whatever we will do we will not go against the sentiments of J&K people. We would respect the sentiments of J&K people,” he said.

Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by RSS-linked group, which challenged Article 35-A of the constitution. 

NIA raids

On NIA raids in the State, Singh said the investigation agency is an autonomous body and probing terror funding.

“The agency is doing its work,” he said.

NIA has arrested seven separatist leaders, a leading businessman, two youth including a photo-journalist and a Jammu-based Sikh lawyer during its ongoing investigation into the alleged militancy and separatist funding in the State.

In response to a question whether NIA raids were arm-twisting tactics, Singh said, “It is not arm-twisting tactic. We have not learnt arm-twisting tactics.”

“If anybody has any issue with these raids, they should go to court,” he said.

Situation improving

Singh said he has understood that situation in Kashmir has greatly improved.

“I won’t claim that situation has fully improved but situation is improving. And I can say it with surety,” he said.

Smiles on face of young boys, girls

Singh said while praying tributes to slain policemen in south Kashmir’s Anantnag yesterday, the face of ASI Abdul Rashid's daughter, Zohra was passing through his mind.

“We want to see smile, happiness and prosperity in face of every young girl and boy of Kashmir. It is our wish and we will continue efforts in this regard,” he said.

Ready to talk to every stakeholder

When asked whether centre was ready to start talks with separatists, HM said, “Whenever I have come to J&K, I have come with open mind and heart. I have said that I want to talk to all. People should also come forward for talks. We are ready to talk to every stake holder”.

“All Party Delegation during its visit to Valley last year made an initiative for talks and so was done by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. We did not say no to talks,” he said.

Asked whether a formal invitation for talks was extended to separatists, he said, “What is formal and informal invitation. Let people, who want to talk, say they are ready for talks.”

"If need be, I will visit Kashmir 50 times in a year. We will continue our efforts to bring peace and prosperity in J&K and it is our firm conviction," he said.

Pak should stop infiltration of militants

The Home Minister said central government made sincere efforts to improve relations with Pakistan.

“The premiers of neighbouring countries including Pakistan were invited in oath-taking ceremony of Modi government. The PM also broke protocol and visited the function of then Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. He made every effort to improve situation,” he said.

He said Pakistan did not respond accordingly and is infiltrating militants into J&K.

“I would tell Pakistan to stop infiltration of militants into the State,” he said adding, “Pakistan is also resorting to terror funding”.

He said the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said friends can be changed but not neighbours.

Militancy has ruined many generations

Singh said militancy has ruined many generations of Kashmir.

“We won’t allow another generation to be ruined,” he said.

 According to him, the worst affected by militancy were youth, businessmen, workers and the poor.

Asked whether killing militants would bring permanent peace in the state, he said, “Militants are not welcome and they would be given befitting reply by the forces”.

No threat to tourists in Kashmir

The HM said tourism industry has also been hit by militancy.

He said not only in country but outside also news spread that situation in Kashmir was not conducive and people should not visit there for tourism purpose.

Singh said after seeing situation in Kashmir, “I want to appeal tourists and tour operators that people in Kashmir are ready to welcome tourists.”

“People again want to change Kashmir into paradise and take it back from the hands of militants. You should come for tourism purpose and business purpose. People of Kashmir will welcome you and there is no threat in the Valley,” he said.

Pellet guns sparingly used

On use of pellet guns in Kashmir, Singh said he had said they would find alternative to pellet guns.

“We introduced PAVA as an alternative for crowd control. However, people say PAVA is not that effective and successful,” he said.

Singh said pellet guns have been used very less compared to earlier.

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