Accusing Pakistan of trying to destabilize India by fomenting trouble in Kashmir, Rajnath Singh, the Minister of Home, said in Sikkim on Sunday that the BJP-led government would find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. While he attacked Pakistan for backing elements in Kashmir who fanned trouble he didn’t even make a mention of the cruelties committed by the government forces in the Kashmir valley even as he went on to say that Kashmir is ours.
“We hope that Pakistan will change. If it does not change, we have to change them. After globalisation, one country can’t destabilise another country as the international community will not forget it,” he said.
The home minister is on a three-day visit to Sikkim during which he attended a conference of Himalayan states to review the security situation and development activities along the Sino-Indian border.
“But I want to tell all of you that our government will find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue,” he said, without elaborating. The home minister’s statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when the Kashmir valley has been witnessing widespread unrest since 9 April when the bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat was held.
Eight people were killed in firing by security forces on the day. The turnout was a mere 7.14%. The 12 April bypoll to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat had to be postponed by the Election Commission in view of the “scary” situation in Kashmir. Students in large numbers have hit the streets, staging protests against alleged atrocities by the security forces.
Last year, around 80 people lost their lives in the unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani. “Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours. We will find a permanent solution to Kashmir,” Singh said.
Referring to the 2014 swearing-in ceremony of the Modi government, the home minister said leaders of all neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, were invited to show that the new government wanted to have friendly relations with all countries. However, he said, there had been no change in Pakistan’s attitude towards India and it wanted to destabilise India.
He had also visited the Nathu La border post, besides visiting a few posts of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and SSB along the Sino-Indian and Indo-Nepal border respectively. Three soldiers among seven killed in north Kashmir gunfight. Army said the ongoing operation started on Saturday against a group of militants who were trying to sneak into the Indian side at the Line of Control in Nowgam sector.