New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir this weekend where he may address a public rally in the heart of Srinagar, a move seen as a follow-up to the prime minister’s Independence Day speech in which he had reached out to the people of the valley.
During his three-day visit, beginning Saturday, Singh will visit Jammu and Srinagar and meet civil society members, leaders of political and social organisations, business leaders and others, a government official said.
During his interactions, the home minister will receive people’s representations on how to bring lasting peace in the restive valley.
The home minister will also meet Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and civil and security officials.
In his August 15 speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to strife-hit Kashmiris, asserting that the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved either by bullets or by abuses, and that a solution can only be found by embracing all Kashmiris.
The home minister himself had said on August 19 that a solution to the Kashmir problem, besides terrorism, Naxalism, and the northeast insurgency will be found before 2022.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who heads the Congress’ policy planning group on Kashmir, will also lead a team of party leaders to Jammu and Kashmir next week for discussions on the current situation in the state with party workers and “like-minded” groups.
A group of citizens, led by former union minister Yashwant Sinha, had visited Jammu and Kashmir on August 17-19 and prepared a report which said the sense of “dismay and despondency” had grown among the people and the situation was “much worse” than their previous visits.
In September 2016, the home minister had visited the state leading an all-party delegation when he met about 200 members from 30 delegations from various sections of society and listened to their point of view to arrive at a common solution to the Kashmir issue.
However, the Kashmiri separatists had rebuffed attempts by five opposition MPs to talk to them.