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2016-07-25 02:03:38

Talks after normalcy returns: Home Minister

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh Sunday ruled out holding dialogue on Kashmir with Pakistan but kept the door ajar for separatists saying parleys with them could be held after normalcy resumes in the Valley.
“There is no need for a third power’s intervention on Kashmir,” Singh said referring to Pakistan while addressing a news conference at the technical portion of the Srinagar airport.
Stressing that Pakistan’s role on Kashmir was not Pak (pure) and that Islamabad needed to improve and change its role, he said, “They (Pakistan) should not interfere in our internal matters.”
The Union Home Minister said Pakistan itself was a victim of terrorism yet on one hand it would send its forces to enter Lal Masjid to deal with terrorists, on the other hand, it would appeal Kashmiris to pick up guns.
Winding up his two-day visit to Kashmir where he had come to take stock of the political and security situation after the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his two associates leading to massive protests and resulting in killings of over 50 civilians and injuries to over 3000 people in the action by Police, Army and paramilitary forces, Singh said Government of India would welcome all constructive suggestions of Kashmiris for helping restore peace and normalcy.
“Differences can be resolved through talks,” he said. “Other than that, no other solution is possible.”
On holding dialogue with separatists, the Home Minister said, “Let normalcy and peace be restored, we will talk to whosoever needs to be talked and the CM will be on board on who to talk to.”
Singh’s statement comes after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said New Delhi needed to talk to both Islamabad and separatists.
Soon after returning from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, where he went in a chopper, he said, “We express regret over the loss of lives and I offer my condolences and sympathies with the affected people.”
The Home Minister said he told the troops and paramilitary forces to adopt maximum restraint while dealing with people.
“I appeal youth not to pelt stones and security forces not to use pellet guns,” Singh said. “I am returning back from Anantnag where I met people for an hour and a half and appealed people there to help restore peace and normalcy and since yesterday, when I arrived in Srinagar, I met more than 30 delegations and I appealed all to help restore peace and normalcy.”
On whether GoI would apologise over the killings of civilians and excessive use of force on them resulting in grievous injuries to toddlers and teenage children, he said, “We regret and there is no shortage of words in India.”
The Home Minister also hinted at banning pellet guns saying he had already in his speech in the Parliament said that an expert committee would come up with a report within two months and explore options of non-lethal weapons use.
“The delegation that I met talked to me about the pellet injured that some people were hit by pellets in the eyes and I express my sympathy with these injured,” he said.
Singh said he had told the CM to send all the injured to New Delhi and if need be they would be treated at AIIMS.
“We can take all the children to Delhi in a special plane and treat all,” the Home Minister said. “Six persons are already being treated at AIIMS.”
He said GoI is expressing in clear words to Kasmiris that it does not want the relations based on needs with Jammu Kashmir but based on emotions and sentiments.
Singh said he was concerned about the present situation in Kashmir as was Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Kashmiriyat has a place in Jhoomoriyat (Democracy) and that is of Insaniyat (Humanity),” the Home Minister said.
Promising a fresh recruitment drive in Kashmir, he said, Kashmiri youth needed to be engaged and for that a process was already on.
“The chief minister was worried and we had already taken some decisions,” Singh said. “GoI has taken some decisions and the CM is aware of that.”
Suggesting that the government was prepared for a long haul about the ongoing situation in Kashmir, the Home Minister said the problem would not be solved in 15 to 20 days and would take time.
Giving details of the persons injured in the past 16 days of mass uprising, he said, “A total of 2228 policemen and 1100 CRPF men have also been injured besides 2259 civilians.”
Stressing that his statement “not to count bullets” had not pampered troops to kill civilians at will as it was an old one when BSF men were attacked along the India-Pakistan border, Singh said he had not given this statement after eight CRPF men were killed in a militant attack in Pampore.

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