August 2017 News

Talks With Separatists Possible Without Preconditions: Union Home Secy

30 August 2017
Rising Kashmir
Achinta Borah

New Delhi: Talks with separatists in Jammu and Kashmir are a possibility but these have to take place without any conditions, outgoing Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said Wednesday. Mehrishi, who is demitting office tomorrow, also refused to blame the Haryana government for its alleged failure in handling the law-and-order situation after the conviction of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief saying it was not proper to judge any situation sitting in Delhi as law and order is a 'live and dynamic situation'. On the possibility of talks with the separatists, he said Home Minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear 'many, many times' that the central government was open for dialogue in Kashmir. 'We want to talk,' he said. 'I don't think that any talks can take place with pre- conditions,' Mehrishi told PTI in an interview while replying to a question on whether the Government of India (GoI) was inclined to hold talks with the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir without any conditions. He said there was 'no doubt' that Pakistan has been sponsoring 'terrorism' in Kashmir through various ways including funding militants. 'Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism, Pakistan is ensuring infiltration to Kashmir and Pakistan is funding terrorism in Kashmir,' he said. Asked about the alienation of Kashmiri youths, Mehrishi said alienation is a 'concept of Delhi media' and the real issue for Kashmir is 'terrorism and radicalization'. 'Radicalisation and terrorism are the main issues, which we are dealing with. As one chief minister had said 95 per cent people in Kashmir want peace. The youths in Kashmir have the same aspiration, like any youth in rest of India, of good education, good job and a good life,' he said. The home secretary said the probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the militancy funding to Kashmiri separatists has its desired impact and it has been reflected in the activities of separatists and stone throwers. Referring to the ongoing NIA probe, he said the agency was carrying out a 'free and fair' investigation and it will be taken into its logical conclusion. 'Action will be taken against all those who are found guilty as per law,' he said. Asked about the recent stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces in Dokalam and Ladakh, the home secretary said the Indo Tibetan Border Police, which comes under the home ministry, is not deployed in Dokalam but in Ladakh only. 'But stand-off like situation in Ladakh keep happening. There was no extra ordinary situation,' he said. Asked about activities of alleged Hindu terrorism, he said terrorism should not be linked with any religion. 'Terrorism is terrorism. It should not be linked with any religion. No religion allows terrorism. Those who indulges in terrorism in the name of religion is only bringing bad name to religion,' he said. Meanwhile, Mehrishi scotched rumours that he would be the next Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, saying he would be going to his home town Jaipur tomorrow on his retirement. 'I will be going to Jaipur tomorrow noon,' he said when asked whether there is a possibility of him becoming the next governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He also said he has no information on the possibility of present governor N N Vohra putting in his papers ahead of the completion of his second term a few months later. Mehrishi, a 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre officer IAS officer, will demit office tomorrow. There have been speculations that Mehrishi may be appointed as governor.