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Talks with Pakistan only on PoK, not Kashmir: Rajnath Singh tells Parliament

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reiterated that the current unrest in Kashmir is sponsored by neighbouring Pakistan. Participating in the debate over Kashmir issue in the Rahya Sabha, Singh said, “I have no hesitation in saying that whatever
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi August 10, 2016 18:55 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reiterated that the current unrest in Kashmir is sponsored by neighbouring Pakistan. Participating in the debate over Kashmir issue in the Rahya Sabha, Singh said, “I have no hesitation in saying that whatever is happening (unrest) in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan.”

“Some Lashkar terrorists are trying to threaten our security personnel and their families in Kashmir,” Singh added.

Today's debate, he said, "is an example of healthy democracy. We are making efforts to ensure normalcy is restored in the Valley.”

“When I visited Srinagar and Anantnag on July 23 and 24, I met various delegations and J&K CM there to discuss the Kashmir issue,” he added.

On India-Pakistan dialogue, he said, “If there will be any talks with Pakistan, it will only be on PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) and not Kashmir."

Mentioning the recent remarks by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Kashmir, he said, "There is no power in the world that can take Jammu and Kashmir away from us."

Commending the Jammu and Kashmir government for ensuring basic amenities reach the people in the Valley despite strict curfew, the Home Minister said, “I am not saying that people living in Kashmir are leading a normal life, but state government is trying its best to provide basic facilities.”

“State government is trying its best to provide basic facilities amidst unrest situation created by some vested interest and misguided elements. Despite 100 ambulances being damaged due to stone pelting in the Kashmir region, over 400 ambulances are still operating,” the Home Minister said.

Singh said over 4515 security officials have suffered injuries in the recent wave of violence that erupted on July 9, a day after Hizbul militant Burhan Wani was killed.

He also informed that over 3000 civilians were injured the clashes across the Valley.

On the use of pellet guns on protestors, Singh said this is not the first time, pellet guns have also been used earlier.

“Security forces (in Kashmir) have been told to exercise as much restraint as they can. I am not trying to justify the use of non lethal weapon but it has been used before. We have a committee and we hope to find an alternative in two months,” says Singh.

He said slogans like "Pakistan zindabad" that some people in Kashmir chant "won't be tolerated" on Indian soil.

"I want to appeal people in Kashmir to stop such elements," he said.

"No question of handing over Kashmir to Army, such rumours are being spread deliberately," he added.

On August 12, the government will hold an all-party meet to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Valley, Singh said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be present in the meet.

The Rajya Sabha also passed an unanimous resolution, expressing sympathies over deaths in Kashmir, vows to instill faith among people of the Valley.

More than 55 people have been killed in the weeks of demonstrations and clashes between Kashmiri protesters and security forces. The violence has left thousands injured. Hundreds, who have been hit by pellets, have partially or fully lost their eyesight.