Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the central government wants a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem by taking its people into confidence, and is moving ahead in that direction.
“We want a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem and we will do that by taking Kashmiri people into confidence,” Singh said while addressing media on the third anniversary of the BJP-led NDA government.
Singh said the Kashmir problem has been there since 1947 and cannot be resolved in a few months.
“This problem is since 1947. It can’t be resolved overnight (chutki mein). It will require time, but we will come out with a permanent solution. We are moving ahead in that direction,” the Minister said. Singh said his government wants to arrive at a solution through talks. “All the problems can be solved through talks. Whoever wants to talk to us, we are completely ready for it,” he said.
Home Minister also said that after NDA government lead by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has improved the Kashmir situation after the NDA government took charge in 2014.
Rajnath said incidents of militancy — both home-grown and external — were kept in check by the government in the last three years, and it did so because of cooperation with state governments.
Speaking specifically of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajnath said 368 militants were killed between 2014 and 2017 in the state, because of which the situation there is largely calm. Violent protests have been witnessed in the Kashmir Valley since July last year, after the killing of the top Hizbul Mujahideen leadership.
“The security situation in Jammu & Kashmir has improved; 368 terrorists have been neutralized between 2014-2017,” tweeted Rajnath Singh.
He also lauded the NIA for its efforts in combating terrorism, and getting organizations spreading terror branded unlawful. “NIA arrested five Islamic State operatives, and over 90 sympathisers. It has also got other organisations spreading terror declared ‘unlawful’. Because of these efforts, Islamic State hasn’t been able to spread its tentacles in India. This despite India having the world’s second largest Muslim population. The reason for this is because we have clamped down hard on them,” Rajnath said, while addressing a media briefing in the capital on Saturday.
As for Left-wing extremism (LWE), which claimed 25 CRPF jawans’ lives last month, Rajnath Singh said the Centre is in discussions with the governments of LWE-affected states, but claimed that things were already improving under the NDA. “I met chief ministers of all LWE-affected states, and we have a plan to tackle this menace. Comparing 2015 to 2011, the proportion of deaths has come down by 42% and numbers of those surrendered has gone up by over 100%. This makes me confident we will eliminate the problem altogether,” he said, adding that there has also been a 25 percent reduction in numbers of Naxal attacks.
To further improve the situation in these states, Rajnath said they will also focus on infrastructural development. “We will develop infrastructure rapidly in these states. In all, 5,412 km of roads will be built, for which funds have already been approved. Connectivity to these areas will improve because 2,187 mobile towers have come up, while 2,882 will come up soon. Furthermore, 752 ATMs and 1,789 post offices have also come up here,” he said.