Srinagar: Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said “talks and terror” can’t go together while blaming Pakistan for “sponsoring terrorism in India”.
Addressing a presser in Srinagar where he arrived for a daylong visit this morning, Rajnath appealed political parties to participate in upcoming Panchayat polls and expressed satisfaction on “violence” free urban local body polls.
“I congratulate those who took part in urban local body elections. I appeal people to particulate in the panchayat polls,” he said.
The elections recorded miserable less than 6 percent turnout in Kashmir amid boycott by National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party. They cited government of India’s noncommittal on Article 35A which is facing legal challenge in Supreme Court. The state subject law empowers Jammu and Kashmir citizens with special rights and privileges and bars non-state subjects from owning property in the state.
Referring to pro-freedom groups, Singh said, those who do not believe in democracy are not well-wishers of people of Jammu and Kashmir. “In last 4 months, stone pelting protests have declined in Kashmir and so has the recruitment of the militants,” he said adding they the home ministry will engage 11000 youth.
And 2.5 lakh youth will be engaged in central government sponsored schemes, he added.
Singh without naming Pakistan said several powers are not happy with India’s economic growth and are using “terrorism” but their designs won’t succeed. “India is among 6 fastest growing economies of the world. Soon it will be among top five economies,” said Singh who was accompanied by Home Secretary Rajeev Gauba apart from advisor to JK Governor K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam.
Admitting corruption is a problem in Jammu and Kashmir, he said state government has prepared action plan to tackle this “disease”.
He also announced that Rs 350 crore will be spent on Dal Lake, which is not the “identity” of Jammu and Kashmir alone but India as well. “When Dal Lake will change, many things will also change,” he added.
Singh who left for Delhi after holding the presser, said five delegations including four political parties met him at Nehru Guest house. During the meetings, apart from upcoming Panchayat elections, the political parties also highlighted worsening security situation in the Valley.
He announced that he has asked roads and transport ministry to submit detailed project report on construction of roads in mountainous regions of Kashmir including Tangdar, Machhil, Kargil and Gurez. These hilly areas remain cut off during winters due to snow.
On Kulgam killings, he expressed his condolences to seven bereaved families and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to kin of slain men who were killed in a blast at gunfight site, where three militants were killed earlier.