Monday, September 5, 2016

Behaviour of separatist leaders not ‘Kashmiriyat’: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

A day after separatists shut door on the all-party delegation, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday hardened his position on Kashmir saying “it is and will be India’s integral part”, while keeping the option of talks open with all stakeholders open.

“Not only the door, even our windows are open for dialogue. The Parliament is the highest panchayat of a democracy and it’s very serious about Kashmir issue. Those who want peace and normalcy, we are ready to talk to them,” said Mr. Singh while concluding his the Valley visit in Srinagar.

The 26-member delegation is visiting to Jammu in the afternoon to hold talks there with stakeholders.

Referring to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s invite to Hurriyat leaders and some non-BJP parliamentarians attempt to engage separatists on Sunday, Mr. Singh said, “These delegates had gone there in their individual capacity. However, the responses from the other side cannot be categorized as Kashmiriyat nor Insaniyat (humanity). They even don’t believe in talks, so have no faith in jamooriyat (democracy) too.”

The Union minister, however, said, “The response (from separatists) is neither yes nor no.”

Top separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Geelani, on Saturday refused to attend talks with non-BJP MPs like Asaduddin Owaisi, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechuri, CPI’s D Raja and Janta Dal United’s Sharad Yadav.
Mr. Singh refused to divulge any details on opening up track II diplomacy or constituting any committee to address the Kashmir problem.

Replying to a question on Peoples Democratic Party’s demand of Self-Rule and National Conference’s autonomy, the Union Home minister said, “I don’t want to comment on what parties have said in the past. But yes, we have received many a suggestions in the last 24 hours as we met 30 delegations and some 300 people, including civil society members and intellectuals.”

Without spelling any formal ban on controversial pellet shotguns, which not only inflicted injuries on eyes of protesters but also proved fatal for them, Mr. Singh said, “Around 1000 of PAVA shells have arrived in Srinagar on Sunday. This is the alternative and I think it will not kill people,” said the Union Minister.

He said the Centre is providing all support to the State Government. A nodal agency at Union home ministry has been set up to address the complaints and issues of the students studying outside J&K.

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