POLITICS

Kashmir Youth Should Have Pens In Their Hands, Not Stones: Rajnath Singh And Mehbooba Mufti Address Media

"Without Kashmir, the future of India cannot exist," Singh said.

25/08/2016 12:41 PM IST | Updated 25/08/2016 1:29 PM IST
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Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar.

Union home minister Rajnath SIngh and Jammu And Kashmir's chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that they will do everything possible to bring peace in the Valley.

While the state's chief minister state that they need to reach out to people who want peace, Rajnath Singh's solution was to counsel children there.

"95% people of the state don't want violence, they want peace. We have to reach out to them," Mufti said.

The Home Minister appealed to the people living in the Valley, asking them to not "play with the future of the Kashmir's youth."

READ: Rajnath's Muslim Outreach On Kashmir Is A Confused Step In The Wrong Direction

"I have said it before also, youth in Kashmir should have pens, books and computers in their hands, not stones," he said.

Singh also said that children who pick up stones must be counselled.

"Without Kashmir, the future of India cannot exist," he added.

Danish Ismail / Reuters
Indian policemen detain Masroor Abbas Ansari (C), leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) group, during a protest in Srinagar against the recent killings in Kashmir.

Talking about the Army forces, Singh said that security personnel have been told to exercise maximum restraint. However, he reminded people of how the defence helped the people in Kashmir during the floods.

"We have asked security personnel to observe maximum restrain. People should not forget what defence forces did for them during Kashmir floods," he said.

The Home Minister said that an alternative to pellet guns will be given very soon.

READ: Youth Dies From Pellet Injury, Death Toll In The Valley Climbs To 66

Praising his government, Singh said that no other government has been able to do so much in so little time. "We will take more decisions in the future," he added.

Before leaving for Srinagar, the home minister had tweeted saying those who believe in 'Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat' were welcome to meet him during his visit.

The press conference was held in the wake of unrest in the valley following the death of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani.

Singh also said that an all-party delegation would visit Kashmir, where 69 people have been killed and 10,000 injured in clashes.

The home minister was visiting the Valley for the second time since the crisis began and has met close to 300 people since Wednesday. Singh said delegations from almost every political party have met him since he arrived in Srinagar.

Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Graffiti is painted on shop shutters in Srinagar after an escalation of violence that officials have blamed on separatist protests that have tied down security forces for more than a month in Kashmir.

On Wednesday, fresh clashes broke out between protestors and security forces in Pulwama district, where one youth was killed. The death toll in the Valley has now climbed to 68.

Mufti said that her government will order an inquiry into the death of a 30-year-old-lecturer who was allegedly beaten to death by the army in custody.

"Whatever happened in 2010, there was a reason. There was a fake encounter, people were angry. What is happening now is totally different. Don't compare 2010 and 2016. I also want inquiry into the death of lecturer," she said.

"There will be no resolution to the Kashmir crisis by throwing stones," she added before storming out of the press conference as journalists kept asking questions.

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