IndiaRajnath blames Pakistan for stoking violence in Kashmir

Rajnath blames Pakistan for stoking violence in Kashmir


New Delhi, July 18

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday blamed Pakistan for stoking violence in .

He was replying to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the recent violence in the Valley.

Whatever happened in Kashmir has pained me and PM Narendra Modi. He was in constant touch on the issue even while abroad, he said.

Replying to the charge that excessive force was used to quell the violence, Rajnath said he and and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had instructed security forces to use maximum restraint.

He said a team of eye specialists had been sent to Kashmir. He said as many as 1,671 security personnel had been injured.

Rajnath said an extremist had been killed and Pakistan is celebrating Black Day, which is unacceptable. Whatever is happening in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan, he added.

“I agree there should be a dialogue. I told Mehbooba Mufti that I wanted to come to Srinagar and begin a dialogue process with the locals.” He said the CM had asked him to wait till the situation returned to normal.

“Some vested forces are trying to misguide Kashmiri youth. We promise that we will bring them to the right path,” he said.

He condemned Pakistan for trying to interfere in matters related to Indian Muslims. “We, and not Pakistan, will look after Indian Muslims. Pakistan, which itself is divided over religious issues, is playing a dirty game. We are not indulging in divisive . We will carry everyone along on the issue,” he said.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad hit out at the Centre over “brutalities” inflicted on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, asking if civilians should be “treated in the same manner as militants”.

Starting the discussion on the Kashmir situation in the Upper House, Azad said he did not want to blame anyone–either the Centre or the state government. However, it was a matter of concern why the situation had deteriorated so much, he added.

People had died in all 10 districts in the Valley, which is unprecedented, he said. The way guns were used, the sheer brutality with which pellets were used and the police controlled the situation is unacceptable, he said.

Azad said no party, including the Congress, supported militancy. But there should be a difference between how a militant and the old, women and children are treated. “We support your call against militancy,” Azad told the government. “However, we cannot support you in the way you are treating ordinary citizens,” he added.

“As many as 1,800 people are lying injured in hospitals. This type of violence was not used even in despite a huge agitation there,” he said.

The way Kashmiri students are “treated” in educational institutes is adding to the “lack of trust” that people have in the current government at the Centre, Azad alleged.

“The BJP does not have acceptability in Kashmir Valley, we had warned,” Azad said, adding, “The BJP's “mismatch” with the PDP had resulted in the “bursting of the simmering lava”.

He said there should be a healing touch and not the use of “disproportionate force” in the Valley. Why such a disproportionate force was not used elsewhere in the country, he wondered.

Azad said he is all for the freedom of Press but the media should also act responsibly. The way TV channels compete with one another in inciting sentiments, they should be taken to task.

Azad asked the government to call an all-party meeting and fix responsibility of those who used “excessive force” in the Valley.

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley thanked Azad for highlighting the issue. He said many a time one needed to get out of one's political limitations and show a level of statesmanship.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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