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New Delhi, Sep 23: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ruled out appointment of any interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir saying such practices had been “non-productive” in the past. The Home Minister also made it clear that he was not averse to talks and took a veiled dig at separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference saying he was against non- productive talks by anti-nationals “to burnish their own political image”. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: Advocate Shot Dead at His Srinagar Residence by Militants, Probe on
The Minister was asked that since Joint Intelligence Chief N Ravi was appointed as an interlocutor for the Northeast, whether a similar proposal for Kashmir was on the cards. “How long can we go on appointing interlocutors? The practices of the past which are non-productive must be discontinued. Therefore, I am not in favour of appointing interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read - 'Kashmiris Don't Feel They Are Indians & Would Rather Prefer to Be Ruled by China', Says Farooq Abdullah
“Now the time has come to have a rethink on appointing interlocutors. Having said this, let me clarify that I am not averse to talks. But I am also not in favour of non-productive talks which are carried out by anti-nationals to burnish their own political image in either Jammu and Kashmir or the Northeast,” he was quoted as having said in an interview to a fortnighly magazine ‘Governance Now’.
Academician Radha Kumar, veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and M M Ansari had been interlocutors on Kashmir during UPA rule.
The Home Minister said government was keen on restoring peace in the northeast by empowering people and “not those who are working against the country?s interests. About the initiatives taken by him since he was appointed as Home Minister, Singh said he would not be sharing operational details but added “my foremost task is to improve the morale of the forces. I have given clear instructions that we would not let our forces down, come what may.”
Asked how he felt when he was bypassed in the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on matters related to crucial appointments in the government, Singh replied “I am amazed at people?s tendency to make a mountain out of a molehill. This is a procedural issue which does not merit undue attention. I am doing what I need to do.”
Asked about the ‘right-wing extremism’ that was often associated with BJP, the Home Minister said “BJP has nothing to do with any kind of extremism. Our party?s philosophy does not allow any kind of extremism. I would say any kind of extremism is unacceptable in a society. We do not approve of that.” Asked to explain inflammable utterances by some BJP leaders in UP and their campaign against so-called ‘love jihad’, Singh said “I am a believer of restraint in public utterances. I do not hear what is not worth hearing.” Replying to a question about India-specific video launched by Al-Qaeda terror outfit, Singh said while the threat was being treated seriously, “…This pernicious philosophy has few takers among Indian Muslims who take pride in India?s plurality and democracy. There may be some aberrations but the state is capable of dealing with them quite effectively.”
The Home Minister was asked about reported overlapping of work of Aadhaar and the National Population Register (NPR). “…If there are any ambiguities, they will be sorted out soon. UIDAI would have a database of more than 65 crore people shortly and will prepare Aadhaar cards for them. UIDAI and NPR are acting in tandem.
“Moreover, we will roll out nearly 25 crore citizen cards by next year under NPR. This will cover a large section of the population,” he said.