Home Minister Rajnath Singh Says Centre Will Not Change J&K’s Special Status, Will Respect Kashmiris' Sentiments
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, 11 September, said that the central government would not go against the sentiments of the people of Jammu & Kashmir as far as the special status of the state – Article 35A – is concerned.
“Whatever we will do, we will not go against the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the J&K state legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and their rights. The Article allows the state of Jammu and Kashmir to grant special privileges and rights to permanent residents. This Article excludes non-residents of the state from buying land or property getting a government job or voting in Assembly elections. (More information on Article 35A can be read here.)
Rajnath Singh said that the permanent solution to the Kashmir conflict is primarily based on “5 Cs”, that are “Communication, Compassion, Coexistence, Confidence building and Consistency”.
The Home Minister has said that in last one and a half year, he has visited the state of Jammu and Kashmir five times. As reported by The New Indian Express, he said, “It is our effort that people in the state achieve dignity and honour along with peace. We will work in this regard, and our efforts will be that both honour and dignity are safe.”
He further said that he wants to make people of J&K sure that if needed he will come 50 times a year, and will make efforts required for peace and prosperity of the state. His motive of frequently visiting Kashmir is to solve the problem of J&K.
“I can say that trees of peace in Kashmir are not dry. Green buds of peace are visible in these trees,” he said.
“Central government has not initiated anything in this regard and nor went to the court,” said Singh, talking about the recent petition challenging validity of Article 35A in the Supreme Court (slated to be heard in November). “Whatever we will do, we will not go against the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
On whether the centre would start talks with separatists, Singh said “Whenever I have come to J&K, I have come with open mind and heart. I have said that I want to talk to all. People should also come forward for talks. We are ready to talk to every stakeholder.”
The Logical Indian community welcomes the step that has been taken by the centre to accept the importance of face-to-face conversations with the people of J&K to get their point of view. We hope that constructive dialogue can resume as soon as possible to solve the situation in Kashmir and bring peace to the region.