Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met in Delhi today
At their first meeting after former intelligence chief Dineshwar Sharma's appointment
as the centre's interlocutor for Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Home Minister Rajnath Singh today discussed how the take the initiative forward. They also reviewed the implementation of a special package for the state. One of the key issues that Mr Singh flagged at the 60-minute meeting was the delay in rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits
, particularly jobs for them in the Kashmir Valley.
A senior government official said the Home Minister was particularly concerned about a delay in offering Kashmiri Pandits
jobs that they had been promised. The government had earlier announced setting aside 6,000 jobs for the Hindu community in Kashmir who were driven out of the Valley by terrorists.
But the Jammu and Kashmir government had reported to the centre that only 3,000 jobs have been given. Ms Mufti has promised to restart making the appointments for the remaining appointments that had been held up due to "legal issues"
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 80,000 crores package for the state in 2015. In two years, the government has sanctioned projects totalling 78 per cent of this package and 28 per cent money has also been disbursed.
Much of their 20-minute one-on-one meeting that followed the official meeting focused on the steps needed at the government and political level to consolidate the gains expected to accrue due to the centre's outreach attempt that the opposition Congress has called a "publicity exercise".
Following up on the initiative, Ms Mufti yesterday told the state police to stop retaliatory attacks on families of terrorists
, prefer surrender of terrorists over killing them and follow the law themselves before enforcing it among people. "You will have to follow the law and not compete with militants by doing what they do," she told them.
Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat have, separately, made it clear that the appointment of an interlocutor to engage in dialogue with stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir would neither impact the Army operations nor the crackdown on terror funding by the National Investigation Agency.