There was “no Kashmir issue” between India and Pakistan, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday, asserting that the only outstanding matter was how to retrieve the part of Jammu and Kashmir under illegal occupation of the neighbouring country.
“There is no Kashmir problem. It has been made clear on all the fronts. There is no issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan and we are not ready to accept it,” he said.
“...it was way back in 1994 that the Indian parliament passed a unanimous resolution stating that if at all there is any outstanding issue, it is how to retrieve part of J&K, which remains under illegal occupation of Pakistan,” the minister of state in the PMO told reporters.
He was replying to questions over Pakistan’s remarks on the prevailing situation in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in an encounter.
Reacting to Pakistan’s statement describing slain terrorist Wani as “a martyr”, Singh said, “Regardless of how anyone describes anybody, as far as India is concerned it has reiterated more than once that there is an approach of zero tolerance towards terrorism”.
“Pakistan has always been fishing in the troubled waters of Jehlum,” he added.
He also hit out at Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue and said there is no room for any foreign interference in the internal affairs of India.
“Pakistan, which is raking up the Kashmir and human rights issues, should care about human rights violations taking place in Balochistan, Baltistan and PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir),” he said.
“I think the Indian society and the people of Jammu and Kashmir are now awakened enough to understand the designs, and therefore there is nothing that can derail the development journey that has been started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country, including J&K,” Singh said.
On Kashmiri Pandit employees fleeing from their transit accommodation to evade attack by agitators, alleging that the BJP government failed to protect them, he said, “As far as minorities in Kashmir are concerned, particularly Kashmiri Pandits, it is the responsibility of our government and society that we should protect them... But the answer is not in leaving the Valley.”
“Necessary measures are being taken to ensure their security, which is of prime concern to us,” he said.