Srinagar: Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday that the only solution to the Kashmir problem was the wiping out of militancy from the state.
“Other than this, there is no other option,” Singh said during a presser with MoS Home, Hansraj Ahir.
“The long-drawn phase of militancy will end soon,” Singh assured.
He said the government was conducting decisive and unabated military operations against militants in Kashmir.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been saying since a while that the Indian government is working towards a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. He has not explained how the government is proceeding in that direction.
Reiterating that Kashmir is an “integral part of India,” Jitendra Singh claimed that the government is working towards vacating of the other half of Kashmir that lies with Pakistan. “We are demanding that Pakistan vacate the Kashmir that it has occupied by force,” Singh said.
He said that India has the will and capacity to firmly counter all designs against its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. India has resolved to resist all attempts to interfere in its internal affairs, he said.
Referring to the “Kashmir versus rest of India” debate, Singh said it was too judgmental to speak in those terms. “A certain section of intelligentsia talks in the language of ‘Kashmir versus rest of India’. This conclusion is not drawn from the common man on the streets of Kashmir,” Singh said.
Explaining further, Singh said that Kashmiri youth has been showing its aspirations with India by taking part in civil services exams. “In the past three to four years, toppers of civil services are coming from Kashmir. A youth from Anantnag last year secured the second rank in IAS and is now working in Rajasthan cadre. Likewise, 12 students from Jammu and Kashmir passed the Indian Medical Academy exams. So, the truth is the aspiring Kashmir, not Kashmir versus India,” he said.
“Kashmiri youth have been joining Prime Minister Modi-led initiatives like ‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’, wherein they get tax holidays and three months’ exit period,” he said.
He stressed that many Kashmiris were being trained by the government in coaching centres in New Delhi for various competitive exams. “I have myself facilitated the admissions of many in those coaching centres,” he said.
“The Kashmiri youth do not want the opportunities to go by, and this is the best opportunity that India is giving to Kashmiri youth,” he said.
When asked if police atrocities were forcing Kashmiri youth to join militancy, Singh said that it was the duty of elders and religious leaders to ensure that their children do not go astray. “Why the elders of the society do not counsel the youth to not be instigated and provoked by the so-called protagonists who have sent their own children to safe havens while making the best of all avenues available both in the government and outside,” Singh said.
Minister of Home (MoS) Hansraj Ahir said that he was satisfied with the security arrangements in Kashmir.
“I had a meeting with the civil and security officials. I am satisfied with the security arrangements,” Ahir said.
The minister said that New Delhi as well as the state government was serious about the security situation in Kashmir. “I have met the Governor and Chief Minister. I discussed with them the security situation in detail,” he said. “We have been fighting militancy in Kashmir for the past 30 years. The yatra went smoothly all these years. This year as well we had placed good security arrangements, due to which a large number of yatris visited the holy cave.”
He said that after the attack, Road Opening Parties (RoPs) have been instructed to continue patrolling till 11pm instead of 7pm.
He said he was delighted to know that Kashmiris deplored the attack on the yatris.
Stressing that India of 2017 was different from that of 1962 to deal with the China, Jitendra Singh termed Pakistan as a “hostile power”.
“As far as China is concerned, New Delhi is comfortably placed and India was much more equipped today than it was in 1962,” Singh said in response to a question regarding the regarding the standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in Doklam plateau.
In response to Chinese statement that India should read the history and stop clamoring for war, defence minister Arun Jaitley had said that Beijing should know that the situation in 1962 was different, as India of 2017 was different from what it was 55 years ago.
Toughening its stance, Beijing has set a pre-condition that India should vacate its troops from Doklam region before any talks can take places between the two countries.
He further said that India is ready to hostile power like Pakistan. “Pakistan is a hostile power,” Singh said.