Union minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday contended that the militancy in Kashmir was in its “final phase” with “decisive headway” being made in the last few weeks and months to combat it. His statement came two days after the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag district of south Kashmir in which seven people were killed. Singh along with Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir is part of a central delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir to assess security measures for Amarnath pilgrims.
“This is a common observation that there has been a decisive headway made in combating it (militancy) in the last few weeks and months,” the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
Singh said that the youth of Kashmir is keen to be a part of the “developmental journey” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi because there has been a “dawn of a new era” of development in the last three years.
“I am very optimistic that this militancy is also going to outlive its life as we have seen happening in other parts of the country. I think we are now in the last phase of the militancy,” he told reporters here.
He said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and ending the militancy in the state was what Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh meant when he referred to a “final solution” of the Kashmir issue recently.
“I think the final solution is being interpreted in different ways by different sections. It means that this protracted phase of militancy, terrorism and violence would finally meet its end,” he said.
Singh also said the civil society in Kashmir and the security forces have to cooperate with each other so that the situation gets better.
“The civil society cannot survive without the security forces as are the circumstances today. The security forces also know that they have to restrain themselves and more than ever before in the last 25 years, this has been a great learning experience even for them…the kind of restraint that they are exercising, sometimes even at the risk of their own lives and jobs,” he said.
Singh also took a dig at the separatists, saying those who were instigating the youth to take up violence had “lodged their own children in safe havens.”
“The society has to get together and give a call to the youth to not get instigated or provoked,” he said.
Asked about the situation at the borders with China, Singh said India is today much different and much better equipped to meet any challenge than it was in 1962.
“Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has already stated that we are very comfortably placed as far as the China issue is concerned. And please, always keep in mind that 1962 is not 2017. India today is much different and much better equipped to meet any challenge,” he said.