Blaming the Centre for “mishandling” the Kashmir situation, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that Defence Minister Arun Jaitley brushed aside his concerns saying the region is peaceful.
“Around six, seven months ago, Mr. Arun Jaitley came to see me and I told him that they are mishandling Kashmir and they are going to set Kashmir on fire. And Jaitley brushed me aside and said that Kashmir is peaceful,” Rahul told the media in Chennai.
Rahul accused the Modi-led government of treating the Valley as a “political asset”.
“They’re creating a problem for this country by their incompetence and by trying to utilize Kashmir as a political asset. Kashmir is India’s strength and they are making it India’s weakness,” he added.
Rahul’s remarks comes a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh 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.