AFSPA will stay till situation ‘conducive’, says Rajnath Singh

AFSPA will stay till situation ‘conducive’, says Rajnath Singh

Srinagar: Home minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that New Delhi has no plan to hold a dialogue with the Azadi leadership and the draconian AFSPA will remain in force in Jammu and Kashmir till the situation becomes “conducive”.
“We have no proposal to hold talks with the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir…we are ready to listen (and) talk to anyone but anti-national activities should be opposed and boycotted,” Rajnath said on the concluding day of his two-day visit to the state.
Also, a day after PDP hit out at minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh for saying army will decided whether to withdraw AFSPA, Rajnath said he desired that situation should be such that the law is no longer needed anywhere in India.
“We will need cooperation of one and all to achieve this goal,” Singh said, adding the situation in the state will not be “allowed to deteriorate”.
BJP has been repeatedly undermining its partner PDP’s apparently reconciliatory tone towards these contentious issues. In the Agenda of Alliance, a sort of blueprint for the coalition government, the two had agreed that they will de-notify relatively peaceful areas from the effect of Disturbed Areas Act, which will pave way for removal of AFSPA. The Agenda also talked of facilitating a dialogue with Hurriyat.
But repeated blunt remarks by both state and central BJP leaders on these issues have put PDP in a tight spot.
On Indo-Pak ties, Rajnath said although India desires cordial relations with the neighbouring country, Islamabad “will have to change its approach for this to happen”.
“I want to say from the depth of my heart that we want good and friendly relations with Pakistan,” Rajnath told reporters.
He said to demonstrate India’s urge for peaceful relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014.
“We made our intentions clear on the day of the oath-taking ceremony (of Modi). If it was not our intention to improve relations with Pakistan, perhaps our prime minister would not have invited Sharif,” he said.

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