Asserting that Kashmiris are “our own people” who are being “misguided”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today ruled out ‘plebiscite’ and blamed Pakistan for the unrest in the valley while saying that the government will take everybody along in dealing with the issue.
Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Kashmir situation, he affirmed that while militancy will be dealt with sternly, there should be “no instant” use of bullets while dealing with mobs which should first be tackled by the use of teargas and water cannons.
The use of pellet guns, which have been blamed for most civilian injuries, would be looked into, regarding which he will talk to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Singh said after the discussion during which the opposition parties slammed the government and pressed for a political solution, instead of a use of “the barrel of gun”.
Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he himself had asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with mob violence which started after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
The Home Minister said he had, on Saturday last, expressed desire to visit Kashmir and have a dialogue with the people directly. Mehbooba, while welcoming the offer, told him that after the situation normalises a bit, she will come to Delhi and have a meeting with him to discuss in what format talks can be held, he said.
Invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous remarks of ‘Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat’ (kashmiriyat, democracy and humanity), he said “If there is any place for Kashmiriyat in ‘Jamhooriyat’ (democracy), it can be only on the basis of ‘Insaniyat’ (humanity) and not ‘Haivaniyat’ (devilish acts). Those believing in Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat, cannot give space to haivaniyat.”
The Home Minister asserted that “Whatever is happening in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored. The name is ‘Pakistan’, but its acts are ‘na-pak’ (not pious).”
Referring to the demands for ‘plebiscite’, he ruled it out, saying it is “outdated” and people of Kashmir are being “misguided” on this issue.
“Kashmiris are our own people. We will bring them on the right path... We will make them aware of the reality,” he said.