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Mere handshake not enough, hearts should meet: Rajnath on Indo-Pak ties

PTI 28 Nov 2014, 21:03:28 PM IST

Srinagar: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif shook hands during the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said it was not enough and efforts should be made to bring hearts together.

“Mere handshake is not enough as hearts should also meet,” Singh said, while addressing public meetings in Uri, Kupwara and Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir through telephone from the city airport here.

The Home Minister, who was to address the public meetings in Uri, Karnah in Kupwara and Pahalgam in Anantnag districts today ahead of the Assembly elections, did so over telephone as he could not travel there by air due to inclement weather.  Singh said the state has to be brought out of the shadow of terrorism as it should not turn into “hell” due to years of violence in the border state.

He lashed out at political parties in Kashmir for not ushering in development all these years and for pushing the state behind by decades and raising such issues only during elections to secure the votes of the people.  “Kashmir has to be brought out of the shadow of weapons and not allow it to turn into hell,” he said.  “Some political parties are talking of alienation and are creating a sense of fear among the people only to secure their votes. They forget about the real issue of development of the state when in power and raise the issue only during elections,” he said.

The minister appealed to the people to “bring such a government in Jammu and Kashmir which does not intimidate you, threaten you, but give you your rights with honour”.

“Our Prime Minister shook hands with the Prime Minister of Pakistan. I want to tell the Pakistan Prime Minister that Pakistan is our neighboring country and we want good relations with it. It is our heart felt desire,” Singh said.  Referring to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's remarks that “you can change friends but you cannot change your neighbour”, he stressed the need for cordial ties with Pakistan.

As a good neighbourly gesture, Singh said, “our Prime Minister took the initiative to help Pakistan in the time of the flood but Pakistan refused the offer... Rather they started firing on the border as a result of which five to six of our people lost their lives.”

Given a chance, the BJP leader said his party would address the issue of terrorism and will restore the pristine glory of the Kashmir Valley.
“I know that in Jammu and Kashmir, the atmosphere of terrorism has been going on for a long time and a generation has been the victim of terror.

Hundreds of families have been destroyed. I want to assure you that once you elect a BJP government in the state, we will take J&K out of the shadows of terrorism... we will not allow Kashmir, which was once known as heaven worldwide, to become a hell,” he said.  

Lashing out at the National Conference-led government, the Union minister said the Centre had to step in to provide succour to the people during the recent floods which caused massive death and destruction in the state.  “I know you are struggling in the aftermath of the flood.  

There was huge damage to life and property but the National Conference government surrendered at the time of the disaster so we decided that we had to step in for the relief and rehabilitation of the people of the state.  “And we stood up with strength.

Our Prime Minister visited the state immediately and announced a special package but whatever we gave we gave that to the state government and I cannot say anything on if you got some relief or not. You know better than me,” he said.