Rajnath appeals for Kashmir peace, for dialogue on normalcy

Srinagar, July 24 (IANS) Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed for peace and said the government can talk to anybody to bring normalcy in the Kashmir Valley but flayed Pakistan for stoking trouble in the state.

“I appeal to people to restore peace and normalcy,” the minister told the media at the end of a two-day visit to the troubled valley.

He said New Delhi was ready for a “constructive” dialogue which can help in restoring normalcy in the valley that has battled unrest since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Over 45 people have been killed in the days of turmoil.

“I appeal to people of Jammu and Kashmir to help the government with constructive suggestions in bringing peace and normalcy,” Rajnath Singh said.

“If there are differences of opinion those can be resolved through dialogue.

“For the restoration of normalcy and peace restoration, we can talk to anyone.

“We will take Chief Minister (Mehbooba Mufti) into confidence and talk to anyone interested in restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.”

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was very concerned over the situation in the valley.

Saying the Indian government would never tolerate terrorism, the minister said while Pakistan carried out operations against militants in Lal Masjid in Islamabad, they encouraged youths to take up arms in Kashmir.

“This should stop…. Pakistani’s role is not ‘pak’ (pure) on Kashmir. They must change their attitude and mindset vis-a-vis Jammu and KashmirÂ…”

At the same, he insisted that there was no need to involve “a third power” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rajnath Singh expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the unrest.

He urged Kashmiri youths not to throw stones at security forces and told police and paramilitary forces to avoid using pellet guns that have blinded several protesters.

He reiterated his commitment in parliament that the central government would set up a team of experts to find ways on using non-lethal weapons to control mobs. “The committee will submit report in two months.”

He said that central government had conveyed to the Chief Minister that if need be, the injured Kashmiris could be sent to Delhi.

“The government will get them treated at AIIMS.”

–IANS

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