Rajnath’s Kashmir Visit gives Rise to Speculations
Srinagar: Amid speculations that the government of India (GoI) may extend the period of non-initiation of counter insurgency beyond holy Ramzan in Jammu and Kashmir, it has put Home Minister, Rajnath Singh’s, upcoming visit to the valley in a renewed focus.
India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh is visiting J&K state on June 7 to review post-“ceasefire” situation and upcoming Hindu Amaranth yatra arrangements, which is scheduled to commence from June 28. “The visit has now assumed significance as for as the extension of ‘ceasefire’ announced earlier by home minister during Ramzan is concerned. It is important what he says now,” one of the pro-India PDP politicians told wire news agency, KNS. However, he pleaded anonymity.
During his visit, Singh is likely to hold discussion with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and other key officials of the security establishment, including the Indian Army.
“The Home minister is likely to interact with civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders. Home Minister will also hold meetings with heads of para-military forces and state police chief for understanding the post- ceasefire situation,” sources told the news gathering agency on Tuesday.
Singh, it is believed, would also focus on “engaging the Hurriyat Conference leaders”. “The DGMOs of both India and Pakistan have agreed to honour the ceasefire. So, if the borders are quiet, then the next step would be to engage with all stakeholders in the valley. The home minister would highlight this aspect too,” a senior officer said.
Rajnath Singh had already announced that the GoI is willing to talk to Hurriyat Conference. “If they are ready to talk, it would be a positive step,” he had said during a TV debate in Delhi.
However, the Hurriyat Conference has asked the GoI to come clear on talks proposal.
Singh has already discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman including possible extension of conditional ceasefire after holy Eid in Delhi.
Sources in the Home Ministry told KNS that that Rajnath wanted to take view point of the Defence Minister as Army was playing crucial role in anti-militancy operations both in the hinterland of Kashmir valley as well as along the Line of Control (LoC).
Sources added that Singh was likely to discuss the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before taking final call on the status of “ceasefire”.
The official did not rule out that the Home Minister may announce any decision in this regard during his visit to the valley.
Rajnath had on May 16 announced ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir for the holy month of Ramzan i.e. suspension of operations against militants but had maintained that Indian armed forces reserved the right to retaliate, if fired upon by the militants.