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Kashmir unrest is Pakistan-sponsored, Rajnath Singh tells Rajya Sabha

Author: Ankita Rajeshwari
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 18, 2016
URL:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmir-unrest-is-Pakistan-sponsored-Rajnath-Singh-tells-Rajya-Sabha/articleshow/53268119.cms

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday blamed Pakistan for fomenting trouble in Kashmir.

"Pakistan has been playing an irresponsible role, it should not claim to be the protector of Muslims," Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Participating in a discussion on Kashmir situation in the Upper House, Rajnath said, "Whatever is happening is completely Pakistan-sponsored. The name is Pakistan, but all its actions are 'napaak'."

Asserting that Kashmiris are "our own people" who are being "misguided", Rajnath ruled out 'plebiscite' and blamed Pakistan for the unrest in the valley. Referring to the demands for 'plebiscite', he ruled it out, saying it is "outdated" and people of Kashmir are being "misguided" on this issue.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.

The Home Minister gave details of the actions taken by the Centre and the state government to bring the situation under control in Kashmir, which witnessed violent protests after the killing of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani.

"When PM Modi was on foreign tour, I didn't call him but he did. He inquired about Kashmir situation and the steps to be taken," Rajnath Singh informed the Upper House.

"We will take all parties along on Kashmir issue," he said amid demands from some opposition parties for an all-party meeting on the issue.

"The central government ordered the security forces in Kashmir to exercise maximum restraint while tackling the angry mobs," he said.

"Forces were directed to use non-lethal weapons in case of violence," he added.

Earlier, participating in the discussion the opposition parties slammed the government over its handling of the situation.

The opposition pressed for holding an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and pitched for a political solution rather than using "barrel of the gun" while dealing with the unrest.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said while his party stands with the Modi government and the coalition in the state in dealing firmly with militancy, the "excessive use" of force against the common citizens, including children and women, is not acceptable.

(With inputs from agencies)
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