Vowing to give a befitting reply to any attempt to break the country, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said separatist movement and terrorism will not be tolerated in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that India wants peace, but not with those who do not respect its borders.
Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months beginning July 3, he said the Modi government has “zero tolerance” to terrorism and central agencies such as NIA and tax department are working to choke separatist financing in the state.
Amit Shah advocated a new thinking to solve the Kashmir saying the approach of the past 70 years hasn’t yielded any result.
“We want development in the (Kashmir) Valley. But we will not tolerate any separatist movement and terrorism. Terrorists who do not want to join with India have no place in the government’s scheme of things. They will face severe action and difficulties,” he said.
Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the statutory resolution for extending President’s rule as well as a bill to provide reservation to people living in three borders areas of the state. This completed the parliamentary approval process in both the cases.
The Modi government’s policy is to protect Kashmiri traditions, he said adding his government reopened schools, provided cooking gas, built toilets and provided electricity during President’s rule in the state.
“We will win hearts of Kashmiri people,” he said.
Facing flak from opposition for not holding assembly elections in the state alongside the recently concluded general elections, Shah said security agencies had expressed inability to provide security cover to all candidates.
The Modi government will hold polls the moment Election Commission says it is ready to elections, he said after the opposition parties batted for early assembly polls during the debate.
Amit Shah said the Modi government struck at the heart of terrorist training when it carried out surgical and air strikes across the border after the Uri and Pulwama terror attacks.
Unlike in the past, foreign and defence policies have been segregated keeping national security at the core, he said.
“We want peace with the world but there cannot be peace with those who do not respect our borders,” he said.
On reference made by opposition parties to the National Register for Citizenship (NRC), the Home Minister said the Modi government is clear that infiltration must be curbed and infiltrators must be identified and sent out.
A citizenship bill will be brought to give Indian citizenship to Hindus coming from neighbouring nations, he said.
Rejecting opposition’s allegation that the BJP was using President’s rule to continue its proxy rule, Shah said there is no “drought” for his party as it is in power in 16 out of the 29 states in the country.
The BJP, he said, formed a government in the state with PDP due to a fractured mandate of the people and snapped ties when it realised that separatists were being patronised.
The Home Minister said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and no one can detach it from the country. “Our government has zero tolerance for terrorism.”
He, however, said the government is committed to development of the state in the spirit of ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat’ (humanity, democracy and Kashmiri traditions), a slogan coined by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajapee which has been often quoted by BJP leaders.
The Home Minister also defended shutdown of highways in the state following the Pulwama attack and during the ongoing Amarnath yatra, saying the measure was a necessity for security and safety of people. The government, he said, is committed to protecting every citizen.
Amit Shah said the Congress was guilty of misusing Article 356 of the Constitution the most to dismiss governments of rival parties in the states.
On steps taken during the President’s rule, he said security cover of 2,000 people was reviewed and was withdrawn for 919 persons including eight separatists.
Separatists advocated shutting down of educational institutions in the Valley but sent their children to foreign countries for higher education and jobs, he said adding there were some 130 such people.
Terrorists lodged in jails in Jammu and Kashmir are being shifted out to other states to prevent organised terror activities in prison, he said.