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Saturday 18 January 2020

Rajnath Singh strongly defends Kashmir policy

Singh said the BJP 'did its best' and tried everything to bring peace and development to the valley

New Delhi:  A day after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has strongly defended the Modi government’s Kashmir policy, saying the Kashmir issue has been a “very old” one and a major challenge for all governments and will take time to be resolved.
He blamed ‘Pakistan-sponsored terrorism’ as one of the major factors hindering peace and development process in the valley, adding that the BJP “did its best” and tried everything to bring peace and development to the valley.

 

Singh made these comments in an interview to ‘The Week’ magazine following the BJP’s decision yesterday to withdraw its support to the PDP-led government. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had resigned subsequently and the State was today brought under the governor’s rule.

“No, Modiji’s Kashmir policy is correct. There is no doubt about it. It will take time; as I said, the problem was not born today or yesterday,” the Home Minister said when asked whether Modi’s Kashmir policy was faltering.

On whether he missed former State chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Singh said the late leader was a senior and mature politician.

“But, we should not draw comparisons. She (Mehbooba Mufti) also tried, but it can be a matter of assessment of how successful she has been. The Kashmir problem is a very old one and has been a major challenge for all governments,” he said.

The home minister said, “a major factor has been the challenge of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism”.

Asked if he considered the ceasefire a mistake as it turned out to be the bloodiest Eid in the valley in recent years, he said it was not true that big attacks had not happened on Eid in the past.

“I don’t think that the ceasefire was a mistake. It was a decision that was taken keeping in mind those people in Kashmir who wanted peace and wanted to celebrate the pious month of Ramzan in its true spirit,” he said.

He added that security forces were never stopped from neutralising the terrorists, who were infiltrating from Pakistan, and the government did not call it a ceasefire. It was the suspension of operations for a month, he said. Singh reiterated the government’s stand that it will talk to whoever is willing to talk to it.

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