Ready to talk to everyone in Kashmir: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates the new HQs building of Bureau of Police Research and Development (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 8  Ahead of his four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he was going there with an “open mind” and that the government was ready to discuss the Kashmir issue with all stakeholders in the state.

“I am going with an open mind. I personally want that we talk to everyone. So whoever comes to meet me, I will talk to them,” Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of the inauguration of the new headquarters building of Bureau of Police Research and Development. 

Singh, who begins his visit on Saturday, said the government has “all the intentions” to solve the Kashmir issue.

He will be accompanied by newly-appointed Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior ministry officials.

During his four-day visit, the Home Minister will travel to Srinagar, Anantnag, Jammu and Rajouri and meet civil society members, leaders of political and social outfits, business leaders and others.

Rajnath Singh’s visit to the state is seen as a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech in which he reached out to the people of the Valley saying “Na gaali se, na goli se, samasya suljegi gale lagane se”, (Neither bullets nor recrimination, the problem will be solved by embracing Kashmiris).

The Home Minister had on August 19 said that a solution to the Kashmir problem would be found before 2022.

During his visit, the Minister will also meet Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. He will also review the Prime Minister’s Development Package and the security situation in the state.

He is to meet various delegations in Srinagar and Jammu and also interact with police jawans, CRPF and BSF personnel in the state.

The Minister is slated to meet and interact with college and university students in Srinagar.

The Home Minister is expected to attend a comprehensive security review meeting with Mehbooba Mufti and the top brass of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday. The following day, he will address a press conference in Srinagar before leaving for Jammu. He will also visit a camp of the BSF in Rajouri.

Singh will meet traders, migrants, Kashmiri pandits and representatives of communities including Gujjars and Bakarwals.

In September 2016, he had visited the state leading an all-party delegation and met people from various sections of society. However, the Kashmiri separatists had rebuffed attempts by five opposition MPs to talk to them.


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