‘For talks, not like-minded but right-minded is required’
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that not “like-minded” but “right-minded” people are required for a dialogue on Kashmir, without responding to Hurriyat’s calls for clearing the “ambiguity” in New Delhi’s dialogue offer to them.
Singh arrived in Srinagar today for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking to reporters at the SKICC in Srinagar, Rajnath said he would not reiterate the Government of India’s stand on dialogue as he has spelled it out many times in the past.
“I have said it earlier and won’t repeat it again. I have categorically said it quite a number of time and there is no need to repeat it,” Singh told reporters.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had earlier expressed readiness for entering into parleys but wanted the Government of India to make its terms clear.
“Those who want to talk should come to the table,” Singh said in reply to a question. He said the Government of India’s special interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma is not visiting the state for sightseeing but to talk to stakeholders.
Rajnath said that the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Government of India for the month of Ramazan would be extended after reviewing security and talking to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Singh appealed to people to come forward for peace so that another generation is not lost to darkness. “Talks can be held with everyone. For talks, not like-minded but right-minded is required,” he said.
Singh pointed out that the Narendra Modi government would talk to anyone. He said Pakistan should stop promoting militancy in the region. “Some powers are overtly and covertly promoting terrorism,” he said.
Without naming Hurriyat leaders, he said they should not see differences between their children and those of others. “We educate our children and give stones to children of others? Is this justice? Is this Insaniyat (humanity)?” he questioned.
Singh said some “powers” are misleading the youth and termed it as a worrisome development.
“Children are children and their innocence shouldn’t be exploited. Their future shouldn’t be spoiled. Do these people want the children of Jammu and Kashmir to play with fire and stones?” he said.
“They don’t want the situation to change. I appeal from the core of my heart that all children of Jammu and Kashmir should be considered their own. Whatever politics you have to do, don’t do it with the future of children,” the home minister said.
In his 30-mintue presser, Singh, who was flanked by Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, and MoS in PMO Jitendra Singh, said that children of Jammu and Kashmir are not just the future of the state but also of India.
“People may not know the kind of emotional chord people of the country have with Jammu and Kashmir children. They are not assets of Jammu and Kashmir alone but of the entire nation,” he said, adding that the Indian government has withdrawn more than a thousand cases against first-time stone-throwing offenders.