September 2017 News

Rajnath Singh To Kick Off 4-day 'Mission Kashmir' Today

8 September 2017

Srinagar: Suspense is building over NDA government's new Kashmir outreach initiative as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh kicks off four-day 'Mission Kashmir' on Saturday. It will be the first visit by the Home Minister since Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to people of restive Jammu and Kashmir from the ramparts of Red Fort saying neither 'goli' (bullets) nor 'gaali' (abuses) can solve the Kashmir issue and it can only be addressed by embracing Kashmiris. During his four-day visit, Rajnath will meet Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and review PM's Development Package and security situation in the state. Accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officers of Ministry of Home Affairs, Singh will also interact with J&K Police, CRPF and BSF jawans. He will also meet various delegations in Srinagar and Jammu and hold security review meetings with top security honchos. 'The visit is a continuation of PM's Kashmir outreach programme. Rajnath is following on what the PM said on Independence Day. It is rare that the Home Minister of India will be staying for four days and meeting people here. No Home Minister in my view has stayed in J&K for so long,' said Khalid Jehangir, BJP spokesman, for Kashmir. However, stakes are high for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), which is expecting an offer for dialogue to be made by the Home minister which will act as catalyst for them to revive their political future. PDP, which cancelled their public rally planned during the visit of Rajnath, is desperate for certain confidence-building measures to be announced by the Centre in a bid to give them leeway to connect with the masses again. 'Hopelessness is sin. We will be meeting the Home Minister and see what comes out,' said Sartaj Madni, senior vice-president of PDP. Embattled PDP has been facing unpopularity after the 2016 unrest in which around 100 people were killed, mostly in the security forces' firing on the stone pelting mobs. More than 1,100 people suffered injuries to their eyes in the pellet gun firings. South Kashmir, which has been the pocket borough of PDP, is the worst hit in the unrest and that was the reason that the Election Commission had to defer the Lok Sabha polls indefinitely in May. 'We hope there is an offer of dialogue from Centre with all sections of society including separatists. It will help to calm the tempers and also give us political advantage to reach out to the people in our constituencies with something in hand,' said a PDP leader. PDP has been facing unpopularity after the 2016 unrest in which around 100 people were killed, mostly in firing on stone pelting mobs. The party is hoping that the Home minister will initiate dialogue will all sections, which will act as a catalyst for them to revive fortunes.