Kashmir situation has changed, Hurriyat stands exposed: Jaitley

”The government’s policy is (aimed) to normalise the situation in Kashmir and bring peace there. The government works on the basis of what steps are supposed to be taken to bring normalcy back to the Valley,” Jaitley said.

GKNN
New Delhi, Publish Date: Nov 23 2017 12:05AM | Updated Date: Nov 23 2017 12:05AM
Kashmir situation has changed, Hurriyat stands exposed: JaitleyFile Photo

Any policy tweak on Kashmir is to ensure normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday in response to a query about the government of India’s advocacy of withdrawal of cases against first-time stone-pelters in the Valley.

”The government’s policy is (aimed) to normalise the situation in Kashmir and bring peace there. The government works on the basis of what steps are supposed to be taken to bring normalcy back to the Valley,” Jaitley said.

“There was a situation when civil disobedience (in the Valley) was at its peak, when stone-pelters would come in thousands, militants could pick their targets as they wished and Hurriyat would give a call (for bandh) whenever they liked and paralyse everything,” he added.

“Today, the situation has changed. Security forces have an upper hand. It has become difficult for stone-pelters to gather a crowd. The Hurriyat has been exposed,” the minister said.

The central government has advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to withdraw cases against first-time “offenders” involved in stone-pelting during the 2016 uprising. At the same time, the government of India has also offered to bear the cost of treatment of those who were injured in firing by security forces.

The move comes close on the heels of the Centre appointing former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma is likely to visit the Valley soon for a second time. His first visit as interlocutor was between November 6 and November 10.

Jaitley said that the government, through its interlocutor, intended to engage all those interested in talks to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“In a situation like this, the government through its new initiative is engaging with those who want to talk. We are trying to bring back normalcy. What efforts are to be made will be decided by our special representative and the state government,” he said.