HM for cordial ties with Pak

NEW DELHI, Nov 10:
India wants cordial relations with Pakistan and Nepal and will do everything to further improve ties with its neighbours, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
“Pakistan is our neighbouring country. We want very cordial relations with Pakistan. But Pakistan too has to reciprocate,” he told reporters at a ‘Diwali Milan’ here.
Asked about Nepal, which has been witnessing protests by Madhesis over adoption of a new Constitution, Singh said New Delhi wants very good relations with Kathmandu too.
“We want very good relations with Nepal too. We will do everything for betterment of our relations with our neighbours,” he said.
Asked whether differences have crept in the ruling PDP- BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said the coalition Government in the state will continue.
“Alliance will continue. There is no threat to it,” he said.
Commenting on the protests during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said such incidents had taken place in the past too.
“But you should remember that only a handful people were there (in protests), he said.
Singh said law-and-order situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved to a great extent and ever since the NDA Government came to power in the Centre in May 2014, 165 militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and others, were eliminated.
Giving statistics about the infiltration attempts from across the border, he said in 2013, there were 277 infiltration attempts of which 97 were successful and security forces killed 67 militants during the year.
In 2014, there were 220 attempts of infiltration in which 67 were successful and security forces killed 110 militants during that period.
In 2015, till September 30, there were just 86 attempts of infiltration in which 86 were successful and 89 militants were killed.
Rajnath said the issues of Kashmiri youth joining terror groups was on the highest priority of the Centre, but the number of Indian recruits to IS was negligible.
When asked about reports on increasing number of IS recruits from India, the Home Minister said the number of youth joining the ranks of the terror group was insignificant. There might be some increase since the phenomena started, but this increase was still negligible, he said.
Singh appeared to be distancing himself from the sudden curtailment of the tenure of former Union Home Secretary L C Goyal, saying “please ask the Prime Minister”.
Goyal, a 1979-batch IAS officer, had taken over as Home Secretary in February this year after the Government decided to sack Anil Goswami for his alleged interference in CBI probe against former Union minister Mantang Sinh in Saradha scam.
However, Goyal was surprisingly removed on August 31. The official word on it was that his application for voluntary retirement had been accepted. Soon thereafter he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of International Trade Promotion Organisation.
At the ‘Diwali Milan’ today, the Union Home Minister was asked about the reason behind his removal.
“I don’t know why. Please ask the Prime Minister,” he said but was quick to add that the post of Home Secretary was not permanent.
“Bureaucrats come and go,” he said.
Meanwhile, Government today hoped all political parties will extend cooperation to it in passing crucial bills in Parliament during the forthcoming Winter Session beginning November 26.
“We hope that everyone, all political parties will cooperate in the House and help us to pass the bills which are in the interests of the country,” Rajnath Singh said.
“All should help us,” he said.
There are eight pending bills in Lok Sabha and 11 in Rajya Sabha. Among the crucial legislations which are pending for Parliamentary approval include GST Bill.
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by the Home Minister yesterday decided that the Winter Session of the Parliament will be held between November 26-December 23, including a special two-day sitting on the first two days of the session to commemorate the adoption of the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, and honour its architect, Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. (PTI)


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