Jammu: The government is trying to regain the faith of people of Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday and sought the support of all political parties and stakeholders to resolve the problems of the state.
Mr Singh, on the last of his four-day tour of the state, said the security situation in Kashmir is better “to an extent” than the previous year but he could not say that it “has totally become peaceful”.
He said the government is making efforts to improve the situation in the Valley. “We are trying to regain the faith of people (of Kashmir),” he added while talking to reporters in Jammu.
“I want cooperation and support of all, including all political parties and all stakeholders of the society to resolve the problems of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” the home minister said.
He did not agree with the view that the militant ranks in Kashmir have swelled and said “terrorists are being strongly dealt with by the security forces bravely.”
Mr Singh was asked a question regarding his remark on Monday that the Centre will not do anything “against the sentiments” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, in the context of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution under which residents of the state have certain special privileges and rights.
In his reply, he said, “First of all, I want to clarify. Please do not distort my statement. I said Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh – the entire state. I talked about the sentiment of the people of the region.”
There has been a raging debate over the fate of this Constitutional provision ever since it was challenged in the Supreme Court by a woman who has alleged that it was discriminatory.
Several Kashmiri mainstream parties as well as separatists have opposed abrogation of this Article, warning that it would have serious consequences.