‘Rahul hoisting tricolor at Lal Chowk indicates change’
Situation along LAC fragile: Jaishankar
JAMMU, Mar 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said they will send report to the Election Commission of India (ECI) immediately when the Commission asks for it for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir even as he maintained that recruitment of local youth in the militancy and stone pelting have ended in the Valley.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave last night, Shah while responding to a question on conduct of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir said a call on the polls has to be taken by the Election Commission of India.
“Whenever they say they are prepared, the polls will happen,” he said.
Asked further by the interviewer, the Home Minister said: “When they (the Election Commission) say they are fully prepared (for holding the elections), they will ask for report (from the Home Ministry). We will immediately send the report”.
Now, this report hasn’t to be generated as all Police Stations and data is maintained online by the NCRB including total number of First Information Reports (FIRs) registered.
“Recruitment of local youth in the militancy has ended. There is no stone pelting. People of Kashmir feel that law and order and internal security situation are now better,” Shah said.
He added that investments are coming to Jammu and Kashmir and 1.8 crore tourists visited the Union Territory in a year which is a record. Every kind of violence is down by 70 percent, he asserted.
Maintaining that India’s boundaries are most safe today since independence, he said earlier there was no Defence Policy in the country.
“Defence Policy was just one chapter of External Affairs Policy. Today, our Defence Policy is quite clear. We want friendship and no fight with neighbours. But, at the same time, we won’t tolerate any kind of interference with our boundaries,” the Home Minister said.
Earlier, Shah said, there were regular infiltrations and incidents (on the borders). But after surgical and air strikes, none can dare to come close to the Indian boundaries. A message has gone across the world that after United States and Israel, India is third country, whose boundaries can’t be touched, he added.
Replying to a question on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and hoisting of tricolor at Lal Chowk, the Home Minister said he doesn’t expect a word of thanks from Rahul but he should remember that Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi had to be taken in helicopter under Army cordon to hoist tricolor at Srinagar during their (Congress) rule.
However, he added, Rahul has himself stated that he went to Lal Chowk to hoist tricolor without any security.
“This was not possible during your time but is possible in our time because of Narendra Modi,” the Home Minister said.
Shah said when their Government took over, there were three hotspots including Kashmir, Northeast and Left wing extremism which had become threat to internal security for last three to four decades and there was no solution in sight.
However, after nine year of Narendra Modi Government there has been 70 percent decline in every kind of violence.
Meanwhile, the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh remained “very fragile” and is “quite dangerous” in military assessment because of close deployments of troops of both sides in some pockets though substantial progress has been made in the disengagement process in many areas, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said today.
Jaishankar also said that he and former Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had reached an in-principle agreement in September 2020 on how to resolve the issue and that it is for China to deliver on what was agreed to.
In an interactive session at the India Today conclave, the External Affairs Minister also made it clear that the relationship between the two countries can not return to normal until “these problems” are sorted out.
“This is a very, I would say, challenging and abnormal phase in our ties with China. Why I say that is because from 1988 when Rajiv Gandhi went there till 2020 the understanding was that peace and tranquility on the border would be maintained,” Jaishankar said.