Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir Valley had declined and that the Centre was working towards a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue. Singh also lauded the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s efforts in curbing terrorism and added that the state government had not posed any obstruction in the fight against terrorism. “…whatever steps we are now taking in Kashmir is towards a permanent solution of the issue. I will not like to clarify much, and it would not be proper too. Kashmir should maintain its identity,” Singh said while replying to questions on the Kashmir issue at an event organised by India TV. There has been a decline in incidents of stone pelting in the valley, but the government is “not satisfied with this and stone pelting must stop altogether”, a statement quoted him as saying. “We have to provide jobs to Kashmiri youths,” he added.
Speaking on the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, the minister said various steps were taken during the tenure of the late chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and that land was earmarked for their stay in the valley. “At that time it was decided that a certain percentage of people from other communities would also be settled with them. But conditions have changed thereafter for the worse, and the implementation is getting delayed. I cannot say that this will happen in a year or six months. It cannot be done in a hurry,” he said.
Singh retreated the government’s stand that talks with Pakistan would resume only after it stopped the use of its soil for terror activities against India.