Ready to talk to everyone on Kashmir: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Oct 25: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the government is ready to talk to every section of Kashmir to normalise the situation there and to go ahead with the political process.

“We are ready to talk to everyone in Jammu and Kashmir. If some section is not ready to talk, we can talk to students, traders, traders associations, any political leader and Kashmiri people,” he told the media.

Jaitley said Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the Centre is ready to talk to whoever wants to talk in Jammu and Kashmir. “This is a good thing. It will push the political process ahead,” he said.

Welcoming the initiative, Jaitley said: “There is a proper intelligence network in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three years and Hurriyat has been exposed before Kashmiris for the first time.”

“After establishment of the intelligence network, Jammu and Kashmir Police and security agencies have been heavily dominating for the first time, and the result is that the terrorists are on the run.”

Asked if the government will talk to Pakistan, Jaitley said: “It is another matter. Pakistan will have to create the situation for the talks, and the people of Kashmir will not have to worry about this. The Home Ministry is talking to its people.”

He said the UPA government had no policy on Kashmir. They were just providing “band aid” support to the violence-hit state from time to time, Jaitley said.

“The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government had no policy on Kashmir. When there was no policy, it was said that silent or invisible dialogue was going on. There was no silent or invisible dialogue, it was non-existent (dialogue),” Jaitley told media.

The Finance Minister also raised questions on the UPA government’s Working Group to deal with the problems of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It was completely a myth that the UPA government had set up a working group. There was a working group on Centre-State relationship. I was a member of the group. No meeting was held of that group. Only a report was handed over to the central government. I don’t know who wrote the report.

“That time, I wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him that there is no report of the working group. I am one of the members of that group but I hadn’t seen any such report,” Jaitley said.

The Minister accused the previous Congress-led UPA government of not taking the Jammu and Kashmir problem seriously or thinking about a permanent solution for the state.

“Thousands of protests would occur that time but the UPA government’s policy was just to put band aid over the problems from time to time.”

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