'Militancy In Last Stage In Kashmir'

JAMMU — Union Minister Jitendra Singh Saturday claimed that militancy was in its "last stage" in Kashmir and over 600 militants had been killed because of the government's decisive actions on the anti-militancy front.

His remarks come ahead of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's expected visit to Jammu and Kashmir next week.

"The decisive actions that the government has taken... 600 militants have been killed during the period, and this is much higher than the number of militants killed during the UPA-I and UPA-II (governments)," he told reporters in Jammu, adding that the militancy in the Valley is in its last stage.

Replying to a question on whether the cessation of anti-militancy operations be followed by talks with Pakistan and separatists, he said, "The Government of India will take a decision which will be in the interest of the country." 

On talks with separatists, the Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister's Office said, "Everybody is welcome to talk. Nobody has said that we are going to send an invitation to the separatists. Anybody (any Indian citizen) is welcome to meet me." 

Jitendra Singh said he had met 45 delegations in Jammu and 70-75 in Srinagar. "Nobody has been barred from coming and meeting me," he said.

He said Union Minister Rajnath Singh has said that anybody is welcome to meet him.

On the truce announced before Ramadhan, he said it was a "conditional ceasefire and to that extent the government stands vindicated".

He said that the government has been endeavouring to resolve issues with Pakistan both at the diplomatic and military levels.

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