Rajnath asks forces to avoid pellet gun in Kashmir, says Pak shouldn’t interfere

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2016 01:18 IST
Home minister Rajnath Singh with Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during their meeting in Srinagar on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

While expressing a need for an emotional bond with Kashmir, Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday gave a strong message to Pakistan, saying no interference will be tolerated from the neighbour in India’s internal matters.

Asking Islamabad to restrain from encouraging Kashmiri youth to take up arms, he said, “You are yourself affected by terrorism. One one hand, you (Pakistan) storm the Lal Masjid to kill terrorists, but on the other, you appeal to Kashmiri youth to take up arms,” said Singh, who was on a two-day visit to the Valley.

He added, “Pakistan’s role isn’t ‘pak’ (pure) in relation to Kashmir. They need to change their behaviour. Haven’t said anything wrong, have just asked them (Pak) to refrain from interfering in the internal matters of other country.’’

Singh also ruled out any third-party involvement in the resolution of Kashmir issue.

Although there was no offer of dialogue with separatists, the home minister reiterated that dialogue was the only solution.

“I want to reiterate that if anyone has any grievances, it can only be solved through dialogue. We are ready to talk to anybody once peace and normalcy is restored in the state,’’ he said.

Singh, however, insisted that the decision on the issue will only be taken after consultations with the state government.

The home minister said the Centre will form a committee to review the use of pellet guns in such situations. “The committee will submit its report in two months,’’ he added. When asked about the excessive force used by the security personnel, he reminded the Kashmiris that the same personnel had endangered their lives to save them during the 2014 floods.

Earlier in the day, Singh met a high-level delegation of National Conference led by party working president Omar Abdullah.

Expressing disappointment over the loss of lives in Kashmir, Abdullah said he told the home minister that Kashmir was a political issue and needed no economic packages.

Read: On Mission Kashmir, Rajnath Singh meets political leaders

Read: Kashmir protests: Death toll up to 48 as second policeman dies

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