September 2017 News

'Green Shoots Of Peace' Visible In Kashmir Valley: Rajnath Singh

11 September 2017
Times of India

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the 'green shoots of peace' were sprouting in Jammu and Kashmir and he was hopeful that there would soon be an end to the violence and unrest in the state. 'After meeting the delegations and holding meetings here, I understand that the situation in Kashmir has greatly improved. I don't want to claim that everything is completely fine but things are improving, this I can say with firm belief... I can see the green shoots of peace in Kashmir valley,' Rajnath said. The home minister observed that a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue is based on five 'C's - compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency. When asked if he would hold talks with separatists to broker a lasting peace in the Valley, he replied that the government does not want to leave out any stakeholders with whom dialogue should be held. 'I am willing to meet anyone who wants to help us in resolving problems of Kashmir. There is no question of a formal or informal invitation. Those who want to talk should come forward. I always come here with an open mind,' Rajnath reiterated. The remarks came soon after he promised a Rs 1 lakh crore Prime Minister's Development Package+ (PMDP) for the restive state. The home minister said the people of Jammu and Kashmir who live near the border areas are the biggest asset of the nation, adding that the Centre has also significantly hiked the amount ex-gratia given to those killed or wounded in ceasefire violations. 'Our government increased compensation for Indian citizens killed in ceasefire violations from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Those who suffer more than 50 per cent disability due to ceasefire violations will receive Rs 5 lakh as compensation,' Rajnath said at a public meeting in Nowshera. The home minister said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the youth, want to shape their destiny and future by their hardwork, and the Union government was taking steps to enable them. 'I have instructed authorities to have 60 per cent recruitment from people in border areas in Jammu and Kashmir's Indian Reserve Battalion,' he said. Moreover, security forces in the state have been directed to treat juveniles, who may have participated in stone pelting and disruptive activities, under the Juvenile law and not resort to use of excessive force, Rajnath added. 'Terrorists have destroyed many generations and we will not allow them to destroy one more generation. I have told the security forces to treat youngsters, who might have committed some mistakes, under the Juvenile act. They should not be treated as criminals,' he said.