Kashmir issue solution is on the cards: Rajnath
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday assured the country that a solution to the vexed Kashmir issue was on the cards and Jammu and Kashmir would get rid of militancy soon.
“Kashmir samasya ka hal jaldi hone wala hai (the resolution of the Kashmir issue is on the cards). I am assuring it with full responsibility,” Singh told a gathering after inaugurating a bridge over the Ujh river in Kathua district built at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
He said as home minister in the previous Narendra Modi government, he had made numerous attempts to hold talks with stakeholders to thrash out a solution to the decades-old dispute.
“I don’t think any other home minister has taken more initiatives to resolve the issue as I did in my five-year tenure. I tried many times and appealed to them (stakeholders) to come to the negotiating table to find a meaningful solution. I took an all-party delegation to Kashmir to hold talks with all stakeholders. But everyone saw that the separatists did not open their door to a few members of the delegation that went to hold talks with them and they had to return from their door without meeting them,” Singh said.
Hinting that the government could take a tough posture, he continued, “We know how to find a solution. I am assuring you that the Kashmir issue will be resolved soon and no force can stop that from coming true. If the so-called stakeholders do not want a resolution from talks, rest assured we know how to find the solution.”
Taking a dig at separatists, Singh said, “While such elements entice gullible youths to indulge in stone-throwing on the streets and trigger disturbance, their children study and work aboard. But they instigate youths to demand azadi. Are they are seeking that same freedom as is being witnessed on the streets of Pakistan?”
He assured that the region would soon be free of militancy. “Subversive elements had disturbed the atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir. However, security forces have valiantly contained terrorism in the state. Not just in Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism will end everywhere. The way the international community has united to eradicate the menace of terrorism, I feel the entire region will be rid of terrorism,” he said.
The defence minister described border dwellers as “strategic assets”. “While security forces do discharge their duties along the International Border and the Line of Control, people living on the borders play a very strategic role. Unfortunately, such people have been neglected for many decades and deprived of development despite their huge contribution,” he said.