India open for dialogue with all in Kashmir, but no preconditions, says Rajiv Mehrishi

New Delhi: Outgoing Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has announced that India is “open for dialogue with everybody” in Jammu and Kashmir but without preconditions.

According to him, the government’s strategy was to arrest and neutralise terrorists operating in the state, giving instances of the spree of top commanders of outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba killed in gunfights over the past few months.

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Mehrishi, who has retired today disclosed on Pakistan’s involvement in sponsoring terror in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was a “haven for terrorists and criminal elements”.  Mehrishi said that the government is making efforts to bring back fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan. He said over 140 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

“The strategy is to arrest and neutralise the terrorists. The result is that we have killed more than 140 terrorists this year so far,” he said.

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When mediapersons asked about the possibility of talks with the separatists, Mehrishi said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh had made it clear several times that the central government was open for dialogue on Kashmir.

“We are open for dialogue with everybody. Home Minister visited Jammu and Kashmir twice and he talked with whosoever wanted to talk. I don’t think that any talks can take place with preconditions,” he said.

He further went on to add that India faces issues in Kashmir because of Pakistan, whose agencies use terror outfits to execute their plans.

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“Pakistan is a haven for all criminals and terrorists. We have been facing problems in Kashmir due to Pakistan. Pakistani agencies, through terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed create trouble in India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. They encourage one terror outfit at one time and another at a different time. We are trying to overcome the situation,” Mehrishi said.

He said there was “no doubt” that Pakistan was sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir. “Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism, ensuring infiltration into Kashmir and funding terrorists there. There is an element of radicalisation (in the state) which is getting funds from Pakistan.”