NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that security forces had established dominance over terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre was firm that armed militancy must end in the border state.
He said the Kashmir issue had become complicated because of cross-border support to terrorists and also because of local groups. “The Kashmir issue had become complicated because of cross-border support (to terrorism) and (also) our own groups supporting the armed militants. Mass civil protests were seen in the form of stone- pelting and sometimes this was used to help terrorists escape,” he said.
He slammed the erstwhile Congress- led UPA government, saying it had no firm policy to solve the decades-old Kashmir issue.
“The earlier government did not solve the Kashmir issue then what right do they have to question us? There was a leadership which was not taking action and only finding excuses to delay taking any decision,” he said.
However, the Modi government was firm in its conviction that armed militancy in the state bordering Pakistan must end, Jaitley said.
“Today, a time has come where all forces – local police, central forces and the army – are dominating terrorists. There is a clarity in our decision and stand that the armed militancy has to be ended,” he said.
“We must understand that we have a prime minister who faces challenges which no other PM had faced in the past,” Jaitley said.
He said that demonetisation had left Maoists in many parts of India and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir “fund starved”.
He said demonetisation has greatly reduced the number of protesters taking part in stone-pelting in Kashmir.
“Stone pelters used to gather in thousands on the streets of Kashmir before demonetisation was announced, but now not even 25 come together for such agitations,” he said.
“After demonetisation, separatists in Jammu and Kashmir and also Maoists in states like Chhattisgarh have become fund starved,” the minister said.
Jaitley was speaking at a function organised by Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar. He spoke on the topic ‘New India Pledge’.
On the BJP’s vision of building a ‘New India’, he said, “We want to spend funds on defence, rural development and infrastructure.”