Nirmal Singh blames Pakistan for rise in militant ranks

SRINAGAR: Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Thursday said the surge of educated youth joining militancy was part of Pakistan’s attempt to disrupt developmental activities in the Kashmir valley.
Singh said the lack of employment opportunities for educated youth was being used by Pakistan to lure them to join militant ranks. “But these incidents are not something new but part of terrorist related activities. These highs and lows always take place. The example of Ireland is vivid before us,” Singh said.
Singh was speaking to reporters at a Bharatiya Janata Party workers interactive, which was held for the first time in the Valley. The session was attended by many cabinet ministers and party workers up to the rank of district presidents. Singh also said that Pakistan, which has been ‘consistently trying to disturb Kashmir has failed in all its attempts’. “Our forces”, Singh said, “are combating them tooth and nail and have been successful in negating all their attempts”.
“Since our government was formed, Pakistan has made all-out efforts to disrupt Kashmir, but we gave them a befitting reply all the time,” Singh said. He termed the recent flag burning incident (where Quranic verses were inscribed on the flag) by VHP workers in Rajouri an ‘unfortunate incident’: “The situation has been brought under control and I believe such incidents should not occur in the future.”
Singh also said the government would not allow any form of separatism in Kashmir and talks with “separatist” groups would be held only when there was a conducive atmosphere. He claimed the Indian government was going to sanction a “massive developmental project” which would be the biggest in the history on Kashmir. He, however, refused to divulge any figures.

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