Pressure forced militants to release cops’ kin within 35 hours: Rajnath

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Sept 1: Hardening stand against militants in the wake of surge in violence following kidnapping of police personnel’s kin, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today declared that there will be no compromise with violence in Kashmir and said it was due to pressure build by security forces on the militants that they were forced to release all 11 relatives of the police personnel kidnapped by them in South Kashmir.
“Security forces built strong pressure on the militants in the Kashmir valley after kidnapping of 11 kin of police personnel from different places in South Kashmir. Within 35 hours, the militants were compelled to release all the hostages,” Rajnath said while participating in `Shikhar Sammelan’ of a Hindi national news channel this afternoon.
He declared that there will be no compromise with any kind of violence in Kashmir and also warned Pakistan to mend its ways.
Describing Kashmir as “chronic problem”, the Union Home Minister said the situation witnessed today hasn’t developed suddenly as the problem was there in eighties or even before that. However, he assured the countrymen that the Government will solve the problem even though he admitted that chronic problems take some time in solution.
Without naming Pakistan, Rajnath said everyone knows that our neighbour was trying to divide and break the country but maintained that it will never succeed.
“We tried our best to have good ties with all our neighbours. (Atal Behari) Vajpayee Ji started the process and went to Lahore with the message (of peace). He said one can change the friends but not neighbours. After Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol and went to Pakistan to attend personal function (of then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief). Everything was done by us for good ties but Pakistan didn’t mend its ways,” Rajnath regretted.
To a question on cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan taking over as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Home Minister said: “India has extended good wishes to him and want good ties with the neighbours. I pray that God bless him (Imran)”.
He expressed hope that Imran would perform well on the political turf as he had been doing on the cricket field.
“There is a new captain in Pakistan, he had been playing on the cricket field till now. Now he has to play on the political field. Let’s see how successful he is, we pray for his strength to succeed,” he said.
Commenting on breaking ties with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to imposition of Governor’s rule in the State, Rajnath said the BJP had intended long time relations with the PDP but asserted that break-up between the two parties was in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We were committed to relations with the PDP. We wanted the tie-up to go for a long time. But, ultimately it had to be broken in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Recalling formation of alliance with the PDP, Rajnath said the PDP had emerged single largest party after 2014 Assembly elections and the BJP was No. 2, just two-three seats short of the PDP.
“No other party was in a position to form the Government. The PDP and BJP joined hands and formed the Common Minimum Programme to run the Government. However, we observed that expectations of the people were not being fulfilled and, therefore, we decided to come out of the Government,” he said.
Blaming Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for pro-Khalistan protests in London, the Home Minister said the good thing was that not even a single Sikh from India participated in the protests. Only 1500-2000 people turned up for the protest, he added.
Rajnath allayed fears on any curb on democratic rights in the wake of the recent arrest of human rights activists, assuring “there will not be any effort to compress the pressure cooker”.
“I want to clarify that there will never be any effort to compress the pressure cooker. All have the right to speak, do whatever they want in democracy but no one will be allowed to destabilise the country or create violence,” he said.
Singh was answering a query on the Supreme Court’s comments that “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. If you don’t allow the safety valve, pressure cooker will burst”.
“Any effort to destabilise any Government, taking refuge in one’s ideology for promoting violence, conspiring to destabilise and break the country, I feel there cannot be a bigger crime than this,” he stressed.
Replying to a question on mob lynching, he said it was unfortunate and should not happen.
“But the biggest mob lynching took place in 1984,” he said in an apparent reference to the anti-Sikh riots.