New Delhi, Jul 30: There is a need to have dialogue with the people of Kashmir who are "as patriotic as" those in rest of the country and they must be given opportunities to grow to bring peace to the Valley, Union Minister V K Singh said.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a symposium 'Peace, People and Possibilities in Kashmir', the Minister of State for External Affairs, without naming Pakistan, said people across the border try to create disturbances in the peace process every time such an effort is made.
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, who too addressed the event, said history relating to Kashmir has been "distorted" and alleged Pakistan is exploiting confusion among people of the Valley to further their design.
"I feel whatever is going on at present is supported by people from across the border. We will need to find a solution for this patiently, with peace, conscience. Then there is no doubt peace will prevail in Kashmir. "Kashmir is integral part of India.
We must tell people that Kashmiris are no different. They are as patriotic as other Indians," Singh said during the event. The minister noted that whenever right things happen in Kashmir, some local terror groups and the "neighbouring country" try to disturb the peace process.
"We will need to sit with people and talk to them. We need to give them opportunities to attain growth. If there is no trade in Kashmir, what an educated person will do? So, all these issues are related to development," he added.
"A lot of fund" was made available for developmental works in the region in the past, but it was not used for the purpose, Singh said. "So, if people there are angry, it is because there is no development. You go to any part of rest of the country, people will be angry if funds are not used for development.
So, there is no difference between people in Kashmir and those from other parts," he said. He also stated the need of showing people "true picture" that people living Pakistan occupied Kashmir have seen no development ever since it was captured by the neighbouring country unlike those in Jammu and Kashmir.
During his speech, Kumar said those who seek referendum in Kashmir are making an "unconstitutional" demand defying the treaty signed by Hari Singh, then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir with Indian government after which the state became part of the country.
"This demand is completely unconstitutional, illegal, unethical and unpractical...," he said.