Underlining “we will ensure that terrorism is uprooted from Kashmir soon”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday said the Centre has a “concrete strategy” for a “permanent solution” in the Valley though “it may take some time”. He said the government is open to talks and will take people of the state and political parties into confidence before resolving the issue.
“I have said this with utmost responsibility, after much thinking and deliberation. We have some plans and are working in this direction and will find a solid solution in future. It may take some time,” Singh told reporters while listing the achievements of his ministry in the three years of the NDA government.
On the possibility of initiating dialogue with Kashmiri separatists, Singh said he has been advocating talks with all concerned ever since he took charge as Home Minister.
“From the beginning, I have been saying that we are ready for talks. Whoever comes forward for talks, we will talk. We are open to talks to find a solution to the Kashmir issue. All problems can be resolved only through dialogue,” he said.
Asked whether he supports the Major who used a Kashmiri man as a human shield against stone-pelters, the Home Minister said “the Army is doing its job”. When he was reminded that that Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had supported Major Leetul Gogoi, who had the man tied to a jeep as a shield, Singh said “whatever Naidu had said was correct”.
Venkaiah Naidu had said Major Gogoi saved lives under “exceptional circumstances” and the Army has appreciated it. Asked whether he considers the Valley unrest as very alarming, Singh said: “There were bad situations in the past too. We will control it and bring back normalcy.”
He blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in J&K and said that the violence will not last long. “There is no doubt, no confusion that Pakistani is fomenting terror in Kashmir. But we will ensure that terrorism is uprooted from Kashmir soon. The violence will not last long,” he said.
He said Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir for its vested interests. “Whatever Pakistan is doing in Kashmir is a betrayal to the youths of the state,” he said, adding “we will not let them succeed in this”.
“We don’t want to see stones in the hands of Kashmiri youths. We want to remove any stone which can impede their path to a brighter future,” he said.