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Rajnath Singh squarely blames Pakistan for unrest in Kashmir

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New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday squarely blamed Pakistan for the present unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and also said the government will set up a panel to find an alternative to pellet guns used by security forces to control protesters in the Valley.

“There can be no denying the fact that our neighbour (Pakistan) is singularly responsible for the present deterioration of the situation in the state,” Singh said while replying to a short duration discussion in the Lok Sabha that had been taken up on Wednesday.

The terrorism that India is witnessing today is “Pakistan sponsored”, he said adding, that it was “created in the name of religion”.

“However, Pakistan has failed to keep itself united,” he said.

Singh denied that security forces were harsh while controlling protesting mobs in the Valley and hastened to add that personally he would always favour that minimum force is used to maintain control.

The minister admitted, “there could be some aberrations” in the form of high handedness by security forces.

On use of lethal weapons and pellet bullets, which have caused large number of injuries, including eye wounds, the minister said the Home Ministry will soon set up an expert committee to explore “alternative” use of such weapons.

Over 40 people have died in clashes between protesting mobs and security forces in the Valley since July 8.

Referring to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s famous lines – “chingari ka khel khelna khatra hota hae (To play with fire is often dangerous), Singh sought to caution Pakistan on its continued role to sponsor terrorism.

Singh also said the NDA government at the Centre is pursuing Vajpayee’s roadmap of “Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat (Kashmiri spirit, democracy and humanity)” towards Kashmir but at the same time there is no room for “inhumanity and violence”.

The Home Minister maintained that the central government alone cannot bring peace in the trouble-torn state and sought support from all quarters.

He also named Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin – Pakistan-based terror heads – for fuelling tension in Jammu and Kashmir following the July 8 killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani.

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