People in Valley keen to be part of PM-led development journey: Jitendra Singh 

Jammu: Union Minister Jitendra Singh said “only a few people” were averse to normalisation of situation in Kashmir while the majority was keen to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led development journey in the country.

“There are some elements in Kashmir who do not want the situation to get normal otherwise the youth of valley has moved forward Only a few people, whose politics runs in the chaotic situation, are out to maintain this situation,” the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office told reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Monday.

He referred to the selection of 19 Kashmiri boys and girls for the IITs across the country and some more emerging as toppers in the IAS examination over the past couple of years.

“The youth of Kashmir and the common man on the streets of Srinagar have moved ahead and are keen to become the part of the development journey led by Modi,” Singh said.

In response to a question about the recent spurt in terror attacks in the state, the Union minister said the militants were on the back foot as they were facing heat because of the anti-militancy operations by the security forces.

About Pakistan, he said it has been left isolated both diplomatically militarily for sponsoring terror activities.

Singh refused to comment on the repeated pleas by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti pitching for dialogue with Pakistan and said, “I am not qualified to respond to that. It is for the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence to decide. I am not privy to the inputs which qualify me to respond to whether we have talks (with Pakistan) or not.

On repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan to push infiltrators into this state, he said, “The question is not what Pakistan is doing but the question is what we have to do. The response we are giving (to Pakistan) is not seen in last many years.”

He said the Centre was “very supportive” to Jammu and Kashmir and “we have to get ready to seek investment and for that we have to attract investors with incentives”.

“The support J&K is enjoying under the leadership of Modi has no match.

“We have to make the situation conducive so that the investors get attracted to invest here which will boost the local business besides providing an opportunity to youngsters to start their own businesses,” he said.

When asked whether Article 370 of the constitution was a hurdle for the investors to move into the state, he quipped, “I do not want to get into that”. PTI



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