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Jitendra Singh takes dig at NC, PDP, says there is vested interest in continuation of militancy in Kashmir


ANI Politics
In a veiled dig at the National Conference and PDP, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday in the Lok Sabha that there was vested interest in continuation of militancy in Kashmir and that "so-called mainstream parties" benefit from low-voter turn out in elections held under fear of gun as it perpetuates "dynastic rule".
Participating in the combined debate in the House on the resolution extending President's Rule by six months and a Bill for reservation to residents of international border in Jammu on the lines of those living along the Line of Control (LoC), Singh said militancy was on its way out in the Valley.
"There is a vested interest in Kashmir in continuation of militancy. And this is not confined to the other sections of society... even to the so-called mainstream political parties which are beneficiaries of low voter turn out, beneficiaries of holding elections in an atmosphere of intimidation, which enables them to carry on their dynastic rule generation after generation, three-four generations," the minister said.
"If the situation improves and election is held in a true democratic spirit, probably they will face problems," he said.
Singh, who is Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State in PMO, said that morale of security forces had gone up after the aerial strike on terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan and it changed the narrative on how to fight terrorism. "There is huge change of approach as far as tacking terrorism with zero tolerance is concerned," he said.
Referring to suggestions for talks on the Kashmir problem, he said Kashmir was only one-third of the state and there were many stakeholders including Kashmiri Pandits who had been forced to leave their homes in the Valley.
He said exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was the biggest exodus on religious lines after partition.
"I can say with confidence that militancy is on way out. (The state) is going through last phase of militancy," he said.
Singh said there were people who visit Kashmir for a few days, write a book and become experts.
"There is a collusion between Kashmir experts in the political spectrum and Kashmir experts in the intellectual (domain). This intellectual terrorism is causing as much damage as terrorists with gun," he said.
Singh, who is MP from Udhampur, said the youth of Kashmir have moved on, is performing well in national-level examinations and aspirations will find a better reflection if there was no fear of gun.
He said 70 per cent of the state's population is below the age of 40. "Whether you like it or not, the youth of Kashmir has already become part of Modi's new India," he said.
He said bogey of terrorism should not be used to score political points.
"A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist, that is the bottom line. Let us leave it to the discretion of security forces how to deal with him. Do not use bogey of terrorism to score your political points with us. Those who seek the aid of terrorism for political gains are liable to be consumed by the same terrorism," he said.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 10:17 PM IST

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