Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday visited the frontier district of Kupwara and interacted with the locals living near border areas, officials said.
Singh was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh, they said.
The Home Minister met local delegations and people living in border areas of the district on the second day of his two-day visit to the state. He also visited the district police lines and paid tributes to the martyrs of Jammu and Kashmir police force.
“Dialogue can be held with everyone. It is not necessary to be like-minded to hold talks, but it is compulsory to be right-minded,” said Rajnath Singh, offering an olive branch to the separatists.
He said the Centre was ready to talk with all people and groups concerned. It had appointed a special representative for holding dialogue with all stakeholders. “The special representative has not been appointed for sightseeing. He has come here 11 times so far,” Rajnath Singh told reporters in Srinagar.
The Minister was referring to the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as special representative to Jammu and Kashmir in October last.
Rajnath Singh appealed to the people to come forward for bringing back peace in the State. “Lest we lose another generation of the State to darkness,” he said.
On whether the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Centre would be extended beyond Ramzan, he said a decision would be taken after reviewing the situation.
“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a decision on the suspension of operations during Ramzan after giving it due thought. We kept in view the situation of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir a decision on extending the truce will be taken after having all opinions on board. Don’t rule out any possibility,” he said.
Asked what feedback security officials had given about the ceasefire, Rajnath Singh said, “Good things were spoken about it.”
Condemning the recent terror attacks, he said militants were not refraining from their nefarious activities even during the holy fasting month.
“Those who are not giving up their nefarious activities even in the holy month of Ramzan, should their activities not be called unholy. I would like to say that to mislead the youth is not only deceit, but a crime,” he said.
On Pakistan, the Minister said some powers were covertly or overtly using terrorism. “They should understand that terrorism has no religion… When it will devour whom no one can say with certainty.”
He said India was the only country where all important religions of the world were being practiced.
The Minister said that concerned over the plight of those “misled” into pelting of stones, the Centre had decided to withdraw cases against nearly 10,000 persons who were involved in pelting of stones for the first time.
Singh would also hold meetings with Governor NN Vohra, the chief minister, besides top civil, police and paramilitary officials. The home minister’s visit comes amidst an offer for talks with the Hurriyat Conference.