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Govt ready for talks with 'everyone' on Kashmir issue: Rajnath Singh


Lucknow, Sep 24: The government is ready for dialogue with "everyone" on Kashmir issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, days after India cancelled a foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan. Singh, however, asserted that terrorism in Kashmir Valley is "Pakistan-sponsored".

Govt ready for talks with everyone on Kashmir issue: Rajnath

"I think the (Kashmir) matter will be resolved. We are ready to talk to everyone," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Central Zonal Council here. The home minister said as far as terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination.

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"Terrorism in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored," he said. India on Friday had called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in New York, barely 24 hours after agreeing to the engagement, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

The Centre, last year, had appointed former director of the Intelligence Bureau Dineshwar Sharma as its representative to hold talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma has already held several rounds of dialogue with representatives of different groups, civil society members and individuals.

About the issues raised in the zonal council meeting, the home minister said out of 22 points, 20 have been resolved, adding in the last four years, in 12 meetings, 680 issues were discussed of which 428 were resolved. At the meeting, progress of implementation of recommendations made at the last meeting -- on the need to increase density of roads and upgrading existing roads, assistance required to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and modernisation of police forces were discussed, an official release issued here said.

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Singh said it has been the objective of the present government to strengthen the institution of zonal councils as well as the inter-state council to promote and maintain a good federal atmosphere of cooperation among states and the Centre. Besides Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath and Trivedra Singh Rawat respectively, the meeting was attended by representatives from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as well.

The Central Zonal Council comprises Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. The council's meeting aims at addressing common concerns of the participating states and settling cross-border concerns, if any. Five Zonal Councils -- central, western, northern, southern and eastern -- were established under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.


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