India wants emotional relationship with Kashmir, says interior minister Rajnath Singh

India wants emotional relationship with Kashmir, says interior minister Rajnath Singh

Singh (in photo) hit out at Pakistan, which he said is itself affected by terrorism and to end it on one hand it is killing terrorists after entering the Lal Masjid, while on the other it is asking our youth in Kashmir to take to arms. (AFP)

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir | Jul 24, 2016, 09.20 PM (IST)

Appealing to people in Kashmir to help restore normalcy, Indian interior minister Rajnath Singh today said the Indian government wants an emotional relationship with the state and not just need-based, even as he warned Pakistan not to interfere in India's internal affairs.

Sending a strong message to Pakistan, Rajnath also said the neighbouring country should change its attitude and approach towards Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference here after winding up his two-day visit to the state after holding talks with Jammu and Kashmir state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and several delegations both in Srinagar and Anantnag, Rajnath said India will talk to whosoever needed, once peace and normalcy is restored in the state.
 

"As far as government of India is concerned, I want to make it clear that we don't just want need-based ties, but to build an emotional relationship with Kashmir," he said, reaching out to the people in the Valley while making a fervent appeal to them to help restore peace and normalcy in the state.
 

Attacking Pakistan on its role in Kashmir, he said, "its role has not been 'paak' (pure) on Kashmir. Pakistan should change its attitude and approach towards Kashmir."

Singh hit out at Pakistan, which he said is itself affected by terrorism and to end it on one hand it is killing terrorists after entering the Lal Masjid, while on the other it is asking our youth in Kashmir to take to arms.

"This must stop," he said.
 

Appealing to the youth to not to resort to stone-pelting, Singh said he has asked the security forces to refrain from using pellet guns as much as possible even as he regretted the loss of lives.

 
Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces a day after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8 resulting in 45 deaths.

"If there are any differences or disapprovals, they can be resolved through talks mutually. Because there cannot be any other solution. I feel that if there is place of Kashmiriyat in democracy, it will only be of humanity," he said, adding that the people of the entire country want that Kashmir should once again become "firdaus" (paradise).

Expressing sympathy with those injured during the ongoing unrest in the Valley, Singh appealed to the youth to desist from indulging in stonepleting.

"I appeal to the youth of Kashmir not to indulge in stonepelting and security forces should avoid use of pellet guns as far as possible," he said.

Rajnath said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned about the situation in Kashmir and wanted the situation to improve as soon as possible.

"I am very concerned at the situation in Kashmir and our Prime Minister is also very concerned over it. Along with expressing regret over what happened here, I offer my condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives. The Prime Minister spoke to me last night and discussed the situation (in Kashmir). He also wants that the situation should improve," he said.

On revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, Rajnath said whatever has to be done on the issue will be done in consultation with the state governments. On his two-day visit, Rajanth said he met 30 delegations during which he got information and suggestions on how to restore peace and normalcy in the Valley.

"I also visited Anantnag and heard the people there for one hour. I appealed to people of Anantnag also to maintain calm and help in restoring peace and normalcy," he said.

Replying to a question if India will hold talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, the interior minister there was no need for involvement of a third power.

 

Rajnath, accompanied by Indian interior secretary and joint secretary in his ministry, took stock of the situation in the state which has been on the boil since past few days following violent protests that erupted in the aftermath of the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter.

Asked about the suggestions of former Indian interior minister P Chidambaram on granting more autonomy to the state, he said, "We will look into the suggestions made by Chidambaram once normalcy is restored in Kashmir".

He said various delegations who met him informed about the injuries to several people due to use of pellet guns by security forces and he has assured them of treatment of the injured in AIIMS in Delhi.
 

Singh said he talked to Union Health Minister J P Nadda and asked him to appoint a nodal officer in AIIMS to ensure the treatment of all injured in Kashmir there. He said six people are already getting treatment there.

The interior minister said the Indian government has also evolved a programme for providing employment opportunities to Kashmiri youth and engage them.

(PTI)
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