New Delhi: Rejecting ‘plebiscite’ demands as an “outdated” idea, the government on Monday asserted that Kashmiris are “our own people” who are being “misguided” as it blamed Pakistan for the unrest in the valley and said all parties will be taken along in dealing with the situation.
The issue of 10-day-old unrest in Kashmir resonated in Rajya Sabha on the opening day of the Monsoon session, with the House taking up urgent discussion during which the opposition slammed the government and pressed for holding an all-party meet while pitching for a political solution rather than using “barrel of the gun”.
The opposition, while attacking Pakistan for fanning trouble in Kashmir, asked the government to initiate a political process and direct security forces to exercise restraint while dealing with protests.
Replying to the debate, Home Minister Rajnath Singh affirmed that while militancy will be dealt with sternly, there should be “no instant” use of bullets while dealing with mobs which should first be tackled by the use of teargas and water cannons.
The use of pellet guns, which have been blamed for most civilian injuries, would be looked into, regarding which he will talk to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, he said.
Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he himself had asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with mob violence which started after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
The Home Minister said he had, on Saturday last, expressed desire to visit Kashmir and have a dialogue with the people directly. Mehbooba, while welcoming the offer, told him that after the situation normalises a bit, she will come to Delhi and have a meeting with him to discuss in what format talks can be held, he said.
“Whatever is happening in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored. The name is ‘Pakistan’, but its acts are ‘na-pak’ (not pious),” Singh said.
Referring to the demands for ‘plebiscite’, he ruled it out, saying it is “outdated” and people of Kashmir are being “misguided” on this issue.
“Kashmiris are our own people. We will bring them on the right path… We will make them aware of the reality,” he said.
Invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous remarks of ‘Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat’ (kashmiriyat, democracy and humanity), he said “If there is any place for Kashmiriyat in ‘Jamhooriyat’ (democracy), it can be only on the basis of ‘Insaniyat’ (humanity) and not ‘Haivaniyat’ (devilish acts). Those believing in Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat, cannot give space to haivaniyat.”