Kashmir problem will be solved, J&K to be free of terror soon: DM

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh walk over Ujh bridge in Kathua district after inauguration on Saturday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh walk over Ujh bridge in Kathua district after inauguration on Saturday.

Modi Govt ended regional imbalances: Dr Jitendra
‘Those running K-movement should sit & talk’

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 20: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today appealed to the people, who are running a movement in Kashmir to at least sit and talk once if they want a solution to the problem but declared that the Government of India has other options also available and it will solve the issue shortly as no power in the world can stop it from doing so.
He indicated that resolution of Kashmir issue is on the cards and said terrorism will be wiped out from Jammu and Kashmir.
Very significant statements by Rajnath Singh, the No. 2 in Narendra Modi Government, assumed significance as there had been indications that the Central Government could take bold steps to solve Kashmir problem.
While offering talks, the Defence Minister also took a dig at the separatists, albeit without naming them, saying their children were doing jobs and pursuing higher studies in foreign and they continued to mislead the teen-agers and youth in Kashmir to pick up stones, thus, spoiling their career.
Rajnath said this while addressing a press conference and gathering during inauguration of two bridges in Samba and Kathua districts this afternoon after visiting Drass in Kargil district in the morning, where he paid tributes to the martyrs of 1999 Kargil war. India is celebrating 20 years of its victory in Kargil this year.
Rajnath was accompanied by Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh during his day-long visit to the State.

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“I peacefully and humbly appeal to all those running a movement by resorting to agitations and trying solution to Kashmir through violence to at least sit and hold talks once to understand what is the issue…what are their problems as they could be solved together,’’ Rajnath said, adding that no one has made so many appeals to the Kashmir leaders than him.
He said he had asked the political leaders including former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to make a beginning (for the talks).
“When I headed the All Party Delegation to Kashmir, I said those who want to meet (the separatist leaders) can go and meet them. Sharad Yadav and two others went to meet them (the separatists) but they didn’t open their doors,’’ he recalled and said as a Home Minister he had made repeated appeals asking so-called leaders for talks to resolve the issue. He asserted that no Home Minister would have visited Kashmir such a number of times than he did (in Modi 1.0 Government).
“Agar Baat Cheet Se Nahi, To Kaisey, Humey Maloom Hai. Iska Samadhaan Ho Kar Rahey Ga. Main Jo Bolta Hoon, Souch Samaj Kar Bolta Hoon. Aisey Hi Nahi Bolta Hoon (If not through talks then how, we know it. Its resolution is bound to take place. Whatever I say. I say with full responsibility),’’ Rajnath said referring to Kashmir solution.
He declared that Kashmir problem will be solved and no power in the world can stop it. “If the talks fail and if somebody doesn’t want a solution through talks, we have other options available. We know very well how a solution can be found,’’ he said.
He took on the separatists saying they were misleading the teen-agers and youth to indulge in stone pelting and shout the slogans in favour of ‘azaadi’ (independence) but at the same time their own children were either doing jobs or pursuing higher education in the foreign nations. “What kind of ‘azaadi’ they want? Is it the similar one that is in Pakistan’’? he asked.
“They (the separatists) are playing with the career of youth,’’ he said, adding law will take its own course against all such activities.
Urging for peace, Rajnath said Jammu and Kashmir will be a heaven not only in India but in the entire world and tourists will flock the State. He sought people’s cooperation for the purpose. “We want speedy development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir,’’ he added.
Rajnath declared that terrorism will be wiped out from Jammu and Kashmir.
“Not only Kashmir and Jammu but entire world will be free of terrorism,’’ he asserted and said the international community has united and was on same page against the terrorism.
“There is no two opinions about it. Jammu and Kashmir will get rid of terrorism (soon)”, Singh said.
He was replying to a question on how long will it take to stamp out terrorism from Kashmir in the backdrop of the Army’s “Operation All-out” which has badly hit the backbone of terrorism in J&K.
Singh said not only India, but the international community too has decided to collectively fight against terrorism, which he described as a global concern.
All nations suffering because of terrorism are ready to fight it, he said.
“Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat is sitting with me. The way the terrorists had decided to make this valley of Kashmir a hell, it (the Army) has been — to a large extent — successful in gaining victory over them,” Singh said.
Replying to another question whether Pakistan can repeat a mischief like the 1999 Kargil infiltration, he said he has just returned from Kargil sector and seen how the brave army personnel scored victory by dislodging the infiltrators from there.
The Army will continue to be vigilant and guard the heights, he added.
Asked about the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Singh said the people of India should be assured that this country is being led by the strong Prime Minister Narendra Modi and guarded by the brave army jawans and officers.
Rajnath expressed confidence that India will overtake one of the three strong economies in the world — America, Russia and China – by 2031.
“Today our country is moving fast on every front and the entire world is acknowledging this reality… have faith that in the next 10 to 11 years, India will replace America, Russia or China to join the list of the three top strong economies in the world,” Singh said.
Seeking support of the people, he said creation of basic infrastructure is imperative for the development of any region, State or the country. “Without creation of infrastructure, the development of the country is not possible.”
On the development of border areas, Singh said post-independence, the way the development of these areas should have taken place had not happened.
“We have taken a pledge that the areas linked to the borders will be given the top priority. These areas should be developed as much as possible,” he said.
He added that security of the borders is with Army and other Central forces but they cannot be successful unless they get the full support of the border residents.
“The people living on the borders are strategic assets of any nation. As Home Minister I have visited these places and tried to address the problems being faced by the people especially during the Pakistani shelling,” he said.
In the morning, Rajnath Singh paid tributes to soldiers killed in the 1999 Kargil War at a memorial in Drass sector as the nation commemorated 20 years of ‘Operation Vijay’.
The Defence Minister started his visit by laying a wreath in memory of the gallant martyrs of ‘Operation Vijay’ at the iconic Kargil War Memorial, which was followed by observing of one minute silence as a mark of respect for the fallen heroes.
Singh later visited the ‘Veer Bhoomi’ and the ‘Hut of Remembrance’, which are located in the war memorial premises at Drass, he said.
The Defence Minister was briefed on ‘Operation Vijay’ and the heroic actions of the Indian troops to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemy in the Drass, Kargil and Batalik sectors.
Singh was accompanied by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and General Officer Commanding in Chief Northern Command Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.
On the occasion, Rajnath Singh dedicated a ‘Memory Lane’ that displays information on a few important battles, he said.Lieutenant General Y K Joshi, General Officer Commanding Fire & Fury Corps, a veteran of ‘Operation Vijay’, briefed the Defence Minister at Lamochan View Point on various battles that took place during the 1999 war.
Rajnath also took the opportunity to share a cup of tea and interact with the soldiers presently deployed in the sector. He appreciated the dedication of the troops who are defending the borders, in these challenging conditions and conveyed the appreciation of the nation to the Indian Army, for always keeping ‘Nation First’,”
Meanwhile, Rajnath inaugurated two strategically important bridges in Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu region that will help in smooth mobility of security forces in the border areas.
The bridges, near the International Border, have been built under Project Sampark, braving Pakistani shelling and weather vagaries during the monsoon season, officials said.
The 1,000-metre Ujh bridge in Kathua is the longest constructed by the Border Roads Organisation and it uses the precast segment technology.
Built at a cost of Rs 50 crore, the bridge is on Parole-Kotepannu-Rajpura road over Ujh river.
The 617-metre Basantar bridge in Samba has been built at a cost of Rs 41.7 crore on Rajpura-Madwal-Pangadur-Phulpur road over Basantar river.
The bridges will provide smooth connectivity for residents during the monsoon season and are vital for mobility of security forces in the border areas.
The Defence Minister said roads and bridges are lifelines of a nation and play a vital role in the development of remote areas. He praised the BRO for working under hostile conditions in difficult areas, away from their families.
Reiterating Central Government’s commitment to improve connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly monitoring the progress of these projects and funds are being made available accordingly.
Addressing the gathering after inauguration of two bridges in Samba and Kathua districts, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh said Narendra Modi Government has ended regional imbalances in Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Jitendra Singh, with whose initiatives the two bridges were constructed, said during five years of Modi Government, the border areas of Kathua have received special priority and all pending demands of the district have been addressed—be it the construction of bunkers, Seema Bhawans, three per cent reservation for the border people, construction of toilets, exclusive battalions, increase in compensation and insurance of cattle.
“Though Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was scheduled to visit Kargil today, on our request he agreed for stopover in Samba and Kathua districts to dedicate two bridges of vital importance to the people,’’ the Union MoS in PMO said, adding that series of development works were clearly visible in Kathua during past five years and the district has become a “model of development’’.
Dr Jitendra Singh said 27 bridges have been constructed in his Parliamentary constituency alone by the BRO while more bridges were constructed by some other agencies.
He said the previous representatives of this Parliamentary constituency must explain to the people why these areas remained un-developed for such a long time and their issues were not addressed earlier.
“The priority attached to Jammu and Kashmir by the Central Government can be well gauged from the fact that the Defence Minister during his first visit to Jammu region has dedicated two vital bridges to the people, which will provide connectivity to last number of people,’’ Dr Jitendra Singh added.