Kashmiris Are Our Own People, Plebiscite Is Outdated: Rajnath Singh

He affirmed that militancy will be dealt with sternly.

18/07/2016 8:07 PM IST | Updated 18/07/2016 8:58 PM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 13: Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh leaves after attending Centre Government Cabinet Meeting at PMO South Block on July 13, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the revival of three defunct fertiliser units with a capacity of 1.27 million tonnes per annum each. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Asserting that Kashmiris are "our own people" who are being "misguided", Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday ruled out 'plebiscite' and blamed Pakistan for the unrest in the valley while saying that the government will take everybody along in dealing with the issue.

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Kashmir situation, he affirmed that while militancy will be dealt with sternly, there should be "no instant" use of bullets while dealing with mobs which should first be tackled by the use of teargas and water cannons.

The use of pellet guns, which have been blamed for most civilian injuries, would be looked into, regarding which he will talk to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Singh said after the discussion during which the opposition parties slammed the government and pressed for a political solution, instead of a use of "the barrel of gun".

Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he himself had asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with mob violence which started after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

The Home Minister said he had, on Saturday last, expressed desire to visit Kashmir and have a dialogue with the people directly. Mehbooba, while welcoming the offer, told him that after the situation normalises a bit, she will come to Delhi and have a meeting with him to discuss in what format talks can be held, he said.

Invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee's famous remarks of 'Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat' (kashmiriyat, democracy and humanity), he said "If there is any place for Kashmiriyat in 'Jamhooriyat' (democracy), it can be only on the basis of 'Insaniyat' (humanity) and not 'Haivaniyat' (devilish acts). Those believing in Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat, cannot give space to haivaniyat."

The Home Minister asserted that "Whatever is happening in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored. The name is 'Pakistan', but its acts are 'na-pak' (not pious)."

Referring to the demands for 'plebiscite', he ruled it out, saying it is "outdated" and people of Kashmir are being "misguided" on this issue.

"Kashmiris are our own people. We will bring them on the right path... We will make them aware of the reality," he said.

With regard to pellet injuries, particularly the eye injuries, which was raised by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Home Minister said he will look into the damage caused by it and could not say anything off-hand.

He, however, cited some study which had said that in the year 2010, six people had been killed, 198 were injured and 5 blinded because of the use of pellet guns.

He said a team of eye specialists has already been sent to Kashmir and the central government is ready to send even a special plane to airlift any number of people requiring specialised treatment for eyes as also other injuries.

Singh said the central government is ready to extend all help to the state government in meeting the situation, including the provision of essential commodities in the curfew-bound valley.

With regard to prohibitions on newspapers and mobile internet in Kashmir, he said it should not happen and that he will discuss this issue too with the Chief Minister.

He asserted that militancy will be dealt with sternly and Pakistan should not interfere in India's internal affairs.

Slamming Pakistan for its "irresponsible" role, Singh questioned its claim to be the "protector of Islam", asking, "How can a country claim to be protector of Islam when it was born on the basis of religion, when it is witnessing bloodshed in the name of religion."

He questioned how Pakistan could claim to be concerned about Muslims in India when it itself could not remain united despite being a Muslim nation.

"It is for the government of India to look after minorities of India and we will do so, whether it is Muslims, Sikhs, Christians or anybody," Singh asserted, asking Pakistan to lay off.

He asked the minorities to "keep faith" in the government, cautioning that there are a "lot of people out to misguide them."

"If we remain united, India is in such a position that it can become the world power," he said.

Responding to demands by opposition for holding an all-party meeting on Kashmir, Singh said, "I want to assure Rajya Sabha that any action to be taken in Kashmir will be taken after taking everyone in confidence. We don't do politics for forming government, we do politics to make the country great."

Blasting those who celebrate the killing of security forces, Singh said, "it is reflective of Haivaniyat (devilish behaviour)."

In this context, he criticised those who have described the gunning down of militant Burhan Wani in an encounter as "extra-judicial killing", saying such a mindset is "perverted".

"This mindset has been seen whether in the case of Dantewada, Bastar or Kashmir. If security forces are killed, there are celebrations. Such is the perverted mind. We will address it," he said.

Reaching out to the opposition, he said, "While addressing Kashmir unrest issue, we will take everybody along.

This country belongs to all, including you (opposition)."

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