Will not hurt sentiments of people of Kashmir: Rajnath Singh

Jammu: The situation in Kashmir Valley has improved significantly over the past year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today as he expressed willingness to meet anyone who wants to help resolve problems of Kashmir.

Singh, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, told reporters that a permanent solution to Kashmir issue is based on five ‘C’s — compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency.

“After meeting the delegations and holding meetings here, I understand that the situation in Kashmir has greatly improved. I don’t want to claim that everything is completely fine but things are improving, this I can say with firm belief,” Singh said.

He said during his visit he has interacted with police and CRPF personnel and he will also meet Army personnel.

“I am willing to meet anyone who wants to help us in resolving problems of Kashmir.There is no question of a formal or informal invitation. Those who want to talk should come forward. I always come here with an open mind,” Singh said when asked if the government was ready to hold talks with separatists.

He said the government does not want to leave out any of the stakeholders with whom dialogue should be held.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government “will not go against the sentiments of people” while reacting on a petition lodged in the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of Article 35A.

“We will not go against sentiments of people. There are no issues left that is why such issues are being raised,” Singh said in Srinagar.
He said that he was willing to talk to anyone who helps in resolving problems of Kashmir.

He said that he has asked the administration and forces to treat “misguided” Kashmiri children with compassion.

Singh said he has directed the security forces and the administration that children who have been “misguided and pushed into violence” should not be treated as criminals and put into jails.

“Such misguided children should be dealt with according to the juvenile justice system and not locked up in jails. They should be properly counselled and treated with compassion,” he said.

Asked about the arrests of separatist leaders in the state, the Home Minister said the National Investigation Agency is the premier investigating agency of the country and is acting according to the law of the land, but added that this should not deter those who want to talk to the government.

“Law will take its course, but we are ready to speak to everybody. We have never opposed talks. The all party delegation came here and met everybody, we did not oppose that. I have already said that all stakeholders are welcome and anybody ready to talk to us is welcome,” he asserted. (CNS)


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