Visiting Kashmir with open mind: Rajnath

NEW DELHI, Sep 8: Ahead of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said he is going there with an “open mind” and is ready to meet anyone who wishes to interact with him as the Government wants resolution of all the problems.
During his four-day visit beginning tomorrow, Singh will travel to Srinagar, Anantnag, Jammu and Rajouri and meet civil society members, leaders of political and social outfits, business leaders and others, a move seen as a follow-up to the prime minister’s Independence Day speech in which he had reached out to the people of the Valley.
“I am going with an open mind and I am willing to meet all those who come to meet me. We want a resolution to the problems,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here today.
A home ministry statement said during his visit, the home minister will meet Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
He will also review the works related to the Prime Minister’s development package of Rs 80,000 crore announced in 2015 and security situation in the state, it said.
Singh will interact with the personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the CRPF and the BSF, who have been in the forefront of the anti-militancy operations in the state, in Anantnag.
On Sunday, Singh is expected to attend a comprehensive security review meeting with the chief minister and the top brass of the Army, CRPF and J&K police.
Singh is also likely to interact with college students in Srinagar to get their views on the Kashmir situation.
The home minister will address a press conference in Srinagar on Monday before leaving for Jammu. He will also visit a camp of the BSF in Rajouri.
In Jammu, the home minister will meet stakeholders including traders, migrants, Kashmiri pandits and representatives of communities including Gujjars and Bakarwals.
In his August 15 speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to strife-hit Kashmiris, asserting that the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved either by bullets or by abuses, and that a solution can only be found by embracing all Kashmiris.
The home minister himself had said on August 19 that a solution to the Kashmir problem, besides terrorism, Naxalism, and the northeast insurgency will be found before 2022.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who heads the Congress policy planning group on Kashmir, will also lead a team of party leaders to Jammu and Kashmir next week for discussions on the current situation in the state with party workers and “like-minded” groups.
A group of citizens, led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, had visited Jammu and Kashmir on August 17-19 and prepared a report which said the sense of “dismay and despondency” had grown among the people and the situation was “much worse” than their previous visits.
In September 2016, the home minister had visited the state leading an all-party delegation when he met about 200 members of 30 delegations from various sections of society and listened to their point of view to arrive at a common solution to the Kashmir issue.
However, the Kashmiri separatists had rebuffed attempts by five opposition MPs to talk to them. (Agencies)