Will talk to those who want to talk, will eliminate those who attack: Rajnath Singh on Kashmir

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a interview with the Indian Express that dialogue will be held will all those in Kashmir who want to talk and those who attack will be eliminated.

In reply to a question, Singh said, ” We will talk to those who want to talk. Those who attack will be eliminated. I have full sympathy (with people of Kashmir). But people are not understanding.”

Denying the the Government of India has taken a rigid stand regarding Kashmir, Singh reiterated that they are ready to talk to the Hurriyat. Singh added that if someone doesn’t want to talk to them directly, the GoI has appointed an interlocutor.

“When did I say that? Since the beginning, I have been saying I would talk to everyone who wants to talk. If someone has hesitation for direct talks, we have appointed an interlocutor. Tell me what else we should do. We are ready,” Singh said.

Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani while reacting to the offer of talks has said that New Delhi should accept that Kashmir is a dispute and Hurriyat will be ready for dialogue.

“If New Delhi really means business, it must accept Kashmir as a dispute. Unless there is some seriousness in talks there is no fun,” Geelani said.

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While speaking about a dialogue with Pakistan, Singh said that from Vajpayee to Modi, India has always taken steps however Pakistan has not reciprocated in the same manner.

“What else we can do? Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the step of sitting in a bus and going to Lahore. Our Prime Minister (Modi) took a flight and went straight to Nawaz Sharif. What else is the way? Does Pakistan not understand it? What more steps can we take? I myself have gone there.

Singh added, “If we have to keep good relations with the neighbour, the neighbour should also do something. See how Pakistan has been promoting terrorism. How it has been violating ceasefire. It tried to push in militants. Pakistan has never backed out of its activities.”

He also pointed out that Pakistan didn’t even respect the Ramzan ceasefire announced by the Government of India.

“Now you tell me, we have suspended operations during Ramzan. But they have increased shelling, violating the ceasefire. Don’t you want our Muslim brothers in Kashmir to have a peaceful Ramzan? Do they think Kashmiris are tools in their hands? They are Kashmiris, they are Indians,” Singh said.

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However Singh stressed that if Pakistan is ready for talks they should stop ‘cross border terror’ and issue a public statement.

“If Pakistan is ready to talk, why won’t we talk? Tell Pakistan to stop pushing in terrorists across the border. Make a public statement (for talks). They keep saying we do not promote terrorism, we do not infiltrate terrorists. If it is so, let’s come together and jointly launch an action against these terrorists. If they have the intent and honesty, they should do this. It shouldn’t happen that we are worried about the Ramzan celebrations of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters and are announcing suspension of operations during Ramzan, and you are indulging in more ceasefire violations. It means your intentions are clear. Pakistan cannot have any sympathy for Kashmiris. If they had any sympathy, they would have welcomed our move. This is something even people of Kashmir should understand, ” Singh said.

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