Hurriyat is not important than other J&K stakeholders: Jitendra Singh

Jammu, Aug 14: Asserting that the Hurriyat Conference was not "more important" than the other stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, Union minister Jitendra Singh today said separatists would have to be "on board" as much as others to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"They (separatists) have to be on board as much as the others," he told reporters in reply to a question whether the Centre will hold talks with Hurriyat Conference leaders in an attempt to restore peace in the Valley.

Jitendra Singh

"Hurriyat is as important as the other stakeholders. It is not more important than those in Jammu or Ladakh or the Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs or those in PoK and the West Pakistan refugees. They are members of the civil society and nothing more. When all the others are taken into confidence, they can also be there," Singh said.

Replying to another query on the Centre's policy on terrorism and how to deal with the violent youth of Kashmir, the Union minister said the government and the Prime Minister have clarified that there will be no compromise on terrorism.

"Terrorists would be strongly dealt with, the way they are dealt with, whichever place they come from or whichever ideology they belong to," he said.

"The misguided youth, who mostly come from poor families, should be made to understand that those misguiding them have sent their own children to safer places for a better life. They are using them as fodder for terrorism in the name of religion and on the lure of 'jannat'," Singh said.

He said on the one hand, we would have to deal with the terrorists with an iron hand and on the other, treat the misguided youth as "our own children".


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