September 2017 News

Rajnath To Visit J&K For 3 Days, Ready For Talks With All Groups

1 September 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: With no let up in 'Operation All Out' against militants launched by security forces and NIA's drive against terror funding and Hawala money in Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is all set to open fresh dialogue with all organizations of Jammu and Kashmir, without any conditions, during his three-day visit to the State, most likely from September 9 to 11. This will be the Union Home Minister's first visit to the border State this year. He had visited J&K couple of times last year including as head of the All Party Delegation (APD) in September 2016 during which he had met number of organizations like political parties, social groups and individuals except separatists and Hurriyat Conference leaders though some individuals in the APD had gone to meet the separatists in the Valley. Sources told the EXCELSIOR that Rajnath would visit all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh during his three-day visit to the State giving at least a day each to one region to ensure that no region feels discriminated. While the APD had last year visited Kashmir and Jammu only, Rajnath had later paid two-day exclusive visit to Leh and Kargil. 'The Union Home Minister wants to assess the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the launch of 'Operation All Out' against militants in which number of top ultras including their commanders have been eliminated and NIA raids in which 10 separatists and businessmen have been arrested in connection with terror funding and Hawala operations,' sources said, adding that he would take the view point of political parties and various other organizations including those connected with social, trade, religious etc on more steps required to be taken by the Centre to restore complete normalcy in the Valley. Rajnath's visit, according to sources, would be follow-up of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's August 15 statement that Kashmir problem will be solved not through 'goli' (bullet) or 'gaali' (abuses) but by embracing the people of Kashmir. The Prime Minister's statement has been welcomed widely in the Kashmir valley including by the ruling PDP and opposition National Conference. Sources said the Home Minister would be visiting Jammu and Kashmir with an open mind, ready to meet all stakeholders, who come forward without any conditions, which means that the separatists or Hurriyat Conference leaders will not be extended any invitation but if they come to meet the Home Minister unconditionally, they would be given adequate time. 'The Centre's policy has been very clear. Any mainstream politician, individual or organization can come and meet the Home Minister to give their suggestions on resolving Jammu and Kashmir situation. However, no conditions would be accepted before the meeting,' they added. Sources said it has been decided that Rajnath Singh wouldn't give miss to any of the three regions and therefore, the planned visit could last at least three days or might even extend to four days to give adequate time to the organizations and political parties that want to meet him. During his visit, Rajnath Singh is also expected to hold high-level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with political leadership and top brass of security forces, police, civil administration and intelligence agencies. Top brass of the Home Ministry, heads of para-military forces and intelligence agencies were likely to accompany Rajnath during his visit to the State. The Home Ministry has reports that situation in Kashmir had by and large remained peaceful this summer though the tourists refrained from visiting the Valley due to fear psychosis. The 'Operation All Out' launched by security forces has resulted into massive losses of the militants including their top commanders, forcing several remaining terrorists to run for life in the upper reaches. Rajnath Singh had recently stated at different forums that the Centre Government was taking series of initiatives to restore complete normalcy in the valley and work out solution to Kashmir problem in the next couple of years. Meanwhile, the Union Home Minister today reviewed Jammu and Kashmir situation with top officials of the MHA including new Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba at his North Block office. Though Gauba has taken over as the Home Secretary only yesterday from Rajiv Mehrishi, he was working in the Home Ministry for couple of months as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and had been part of Mehrishi led high-level inter-Ministerial team of the Centre to the Kashmir valley for review of security and Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP). Sources said developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir came up for high-level review in the meeting especially those which were being executed under Rs 80,000 crore worth Prime Minister's Development Package. Sources said Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir briefed the Home Minister on Jammu and Kashmir situation. Ahir had recently undertaken a day's visit to Jammu region during which he had also visited the International Border, reviewed security situation and problems of West Pakistan and PoK refugees and Kashmiri migrants. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had on August 29 met Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and sought expediting of works under the PMDP, both in Central and State sectors to give boost to infrastructure development in the State.