Rajnath Singh postpones US trip, meets Imams

With Kashmir on the edge, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has postponed his visit to the United States to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue scheduled for next week.
Rajnath Singh postpones US trip, meets Imams
File Photo

With Kashmir on the edge, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has postponed his visit to the United States to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue scheduled for next week.

A Home Ministry official cited the busy schedule during the coming Monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18 as the reason for the deferment of the visit.

However, tension in Kashmir Valley in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen militant Burhan Wani could be the other key factor for the postponement of the Home Minister's five-day visit to America, sources said.

New dates have not been fixed but the trip now may take place sometime in September, the official said.

The Home Minister was supposed to lead the Indian delegation at the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue to be held in Washington with the US team to be headed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson.

Rajnath on Tuesday met a group of Imams who urged him to help restore calm in the Kashmir Valley.

The Imams told Singh that they would be meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and local clerics of the state in an attempt to help bring calm in the Valley.

"We had detailed discussions with the Home Minister on the prevailing situation in Kashmir. We have urged him to ensure that calm and peace returns to the Valley. Just like Muslims from any other part of the country, Kashmiris are also our brothers. We are with them and appeal them to bring normalcy and peace," Umer Ahmed Ilyasi of All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques said after the meeting.

He said a group of Imams will be meeting the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and also Imams in the Valley to ensure peace and calm is restored as quickly as possible.

Ilyasi said they are opposed to any kind of terrorism in any part of the world.

"We are talking about Kashmir but not Kashmiris. It is time that we take forward dialogue with Kashmiris," he said. 

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