Giving a clear cut message that there is no softening of stance on Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said that the only ‘point of debate’ right now is retrieving Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK). The Union Minister said that there is need to “change the discourse” around Jammu and Kashmir as there is no such thing as the Kashmir issue.
“There is need to change the discourse (on Jammu and Kashmir) for future generations. We have to change the agenda. There is no such issue as Kashmir issue. It is as much a part of India as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or any other state. The only issue if at all is how to retrieve a part of Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan for the past 70 years and restore the Valley in the same format as was handed over by Maharaja Hari Singh,” Singh said.
The minister was talking to reporters during a function to pay pictorial homage to cops of Jammu and Kashmir Police and slain Army officer Lt Ummer Fayyaz here yesterday.
Lt Fayyaz’s Facebook page, letters during his Army training days as well as the photographs of slain J-K officers Mohammed Ayoub Pandith, Feroz Ahmed Dar and others were on display at the event.
Singh also underlined the central government’s “proactive” steps in bringing development to the Valley, especially with respect to neutralising extremist forces.
“We have been able to neutralise many militants and foil infiltration bids. Our crackdown on funding in the Valley is another step to step towards restoring normalcy in the state,” he said.
Lt Fayaz, an Army officer of Rajputana Rifles, was abducted and killed by suspected militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on May 9 this year.
Srinagar DySP Mohammed Ayub Pandith was lynched to death outside Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta on June 22 while Sub inspector Feroz Ahmed Dar was killed by LeT terrorists in Anantnag on June 16.