Kashmir Is, Was And Will Be Ours Always, Says Rajnath Singh

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Srinagar—Stating Kashmir is, was and will be “ours always” Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday pinned the blame on Islamabad for the tension, saying it was coming in the way of peace between both the countries.

Singh also warned that Indian Army is ready to not only protect the country from within but can also “cross the border if needed”, as ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts from across the border is rising.

Addressing a media event, the Home Minister said, “A B Vajpayee said friends change but neighbours don’t. We want good relations with our neighbours but Pakistan does not want to improve (relations)”.

“They are allowing a UN-designated militantist (Haafiz Saeed) to run his own political party and fight elections. God knows how many people these militants have killed. The country also helps the Haqqani network to grow,” he said.

Singh’s comments come close on the heels of a diplomatic row over alleged harassment of diplomats in both the countries. Pakistan on Thursday had called back its High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood to Islamabad for consultations.

Referring to the appointment of the interlocutor, former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, on the Kashmir issue, the home minister said the interlocutor would talk to everyone who was keen for dialogue.

He said despite Pakistan’s best efforts, Kashmir would never be separated from India.

“Kashmir was with India, Kashmir is with India and Kashmir will remain with India forever,” he said.

On the increasing tension on the borders, he said its forces are well-equipped to tackle it. India wanted good ties with Pakistan, provided it stopped aiding militants, he said.

“Now the US is condemning Pakistan. I don’t know what happened to Pakistan. We want good relations with Pakistan but it has refused to accept our offer of friendship. Pakistan is giving legitimacy to UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed who is establishing a political party there and wants to contest in elections,” Singh added.

The Home Minister also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making other countries to talk about Pakistan and act against its militant activities.

“Militancy is a global phenomenon. Our PM has achieved huge success in getting international organisations to take sides with India to fight militants. Earlier nobody talked against Pakistan, now even the United States of America also condemns Pakistan,” he said.

On the Naxals, Singh admitted that the battle against the Naxals cannot be won through bullets alone. “We are trying to reach those areas which have remained unreachable since independence. Naxalism was a huge problem for India but in the last four years, we have now achieved major success in that space. There were police and army officials dying because of this. We have brought it down heavily,” he said.

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