Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, said on Sunday that the BJP government will find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue and it was open to talks with the Hurriyat Conference
In an interview with a national news magazine, Singh made remarks that while the government cannot give an exact time for solving Kashmir issue, it is a problem which has remained unresolved since 1947.
The Home Minister however refused to provide information about the government’s strategy on the Kashmir issue. “Government is working towards a permanent solution on the issue,” the report quoted Singh as saying.While talking about people of Kashmir Singh assured that Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat will not suffer, and the government will not let Kashmir burn.
Singh further said that Modi government wants to speak to all stakeholders on the Kashmir issue but asserted that “talks will be unconditional”.
“We cannot allow repeated recurrence of unrest in Kashmir. We cannot allow Kashmir to burn. We cannot give a time frame, that in one month or two months we will solve this. You don’t have instant solution to such issues. Efforts are on and we are trying with our full might to come out with a permanent solution,” he said.
He repeatedly refused to reveal anything about the government’s strategy for a “permanent solution”, but said they were open to talks with all stakeholders, including the separatist Hurriyat.
“We want to talk to stakeholders, whoever wants to talk, we are open to discuss with them. But then talks will have to be unconditional. Talks cannot and will not happen on any kind of preconditions,” he said.
Asked to comment on a recent expose, revealing the Hurriyat’s links with Pakistan, Rajnath Singh said: “There are no two ways about the fact that Pakistan is actively pursuing destabilizing Kashmir, and through Kashmir it wants to destabilize India. Pakistan is the only country in the world which promotes terrorism.”
On the expose on Hurriyat and the subsequent call for a ban on them by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, Rajnath Singh refused to comment. “I don’t want to comment (on banning Hurriyat). We have taken cognizance of whatever they have said and we will do whatever is justified. We have already handed over the probe to the NIA (National Investigation Agency), let the probe report come,” he said.
Asked why the separatist leaders were put under house arrest and not jailed and provided with security, Rajnath Singh put the onus on the state government.
“It is the state government which provides the security and not the Centre,” he said.
When reminded that it was a BJP-PDP alliance at the helm in the state, Rajnath Singh said the move to provide security to the separatists was being done from earlier.
He also said the government was taking many initiatives, including inducting the youth into the security forces, to bring the people of Kashmir into the mainstream and discourage the youth from taking to militancy.