SRINAGAR: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said in Srinagar that he came to Kashmir with “lurking doubts” as to what the situation here was, but now that he was here he “was sure that it is more peaceful than shown by the Indian media on its channels”. He said that the situation in Kashmir has improved a lot and “people move freely”.
During a press conference after an all-state meeting on GST (Goods and Services Tax) at the SKICC here, Jaitley was asked how he looks at cases of killings in Kashmir Valley in which justice is yet to be done. Earlier in the day, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ordered Pakistan to not execute alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav till a final verdict is given in the case.
Jaitly said the ICJ judgment is a great sense of relief and happiness because it is in favour of India and indicts the kind of mockery of justice that exists in Pakistan.
“In the annals of history, this judgment will be victory of the rule of law. Contrary to this, Pakistan’s secret proceedings in darkness are conspiratorial in nature. Any form of judicial inquiry conducted in darkness lacks the very appearance of justice, which I think is essential for rule of fairness,” he said.
Regarding the ongoing situation in Kashmir Valley, Jaitley said that the situation in Kashmir has improved a lot and is not the same as portrayed by the media.
“Before we all came here, there was a lurking doubt in the minds of many of us as to what is the environment in the state. We all have seen since yesterday the environment and I am sure it is more peaceful than shown by the Indian media on its channels. It has improved to a large extent. People move freely. After end of this meeting, many of the members will stay in Kashmir for more days,” he said.
Asked when the government will start talks with the pro-freedom groups, Jaitley said, “Let the situation improve. The central government will decide on it.”