Lucknow: India’s home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said Pakistan was “continuing with its antics and making efforts to break India”, but “in spite of that”, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) had improved significantly.
He also said there was a decline in the incidents of “extremism” and that the “credit for this” should go to the followers of Islam in India.
Speaking at an event organised by a newspaper here on Saturday, Singh said, “Pakistan is continuing with its antics and making efforts to break us, but the co-ordination among our Army, paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and intelligence agencies has been excellent.”
He said, “there were 86,000 terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995, (but) over the last one year, the number of such incidents had come down to 300 in that state.”
Stating that there had been a significant improvement in the situation in the restive region, Singh pointed out that the government of India had already appointed a special representative (former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma) for a dialogue with all the “stakeholders” in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Hurriyat Comference leaders.
“The special representative will talk to all the stakeholders and recommend to the government of India as to what should be done to resolve the problems,” he added.
Replying to a question pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, the home minister said, “When we are in the government, there is a direct conversation with the public. We are working in the direction of resolving problems.”
On the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, he said, “Everyone wants them to be rehabilitated. There were talks with former (Jammu and Kashmir) chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and he had given his consent (to it). Later, the matter got stalled owing to disturbances there.”
Singh added that the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was discussed with current Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti as well and that the latter had promised effective steps in this regard.
“We want to resolve the Kashmir issue by taking the people of Kashmir into confidence,” he said.
On a question on the Rohingya Muslims issue, the BJP leader blamed the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government for the current situation involving the refugees.
He reiterated the GoI’s commitment to alleviating poverty, unemployment and said, “employment would be given to one crore youth of the country through its skill development programme.”
“It is possible that the immediate effects may not be visible. But, tough decisions lead to long-term benefits. We want sabka saath, sabka vikas,” Singh said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for India.
On “extremism”, the home minister said, “There has been a decline in the incidents of extremism. The credit for this should go to the followers of Islam in India. “Indian Muslims are less radical as compared to the Muslims of the world. Hence, there is no danger to India from a terror outfit like the ISIS.”
Claiming that “terrorism” and Naxalism would gradually lose steam and “would be eliminated” by 2022, he said, “Advanced weapons are being given and advanced training is being imparted to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces.”
“In the Naxalism-hit areas, we have made an effort to reach out to the public and establish a dialogue with them. We are integrating the people with the process of development. Naxal activities are now confined to only five to seven districts in the country.”
Singh also said the number of battalions of the central paramilitary forces was being increased. “We are laying an emphasis on the use of technology and help is being sought from other countries in this regard,” he added. (Agencies)