Arun Jaitley appeals to youth in Kashmir to shun violence

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday appealed to youth in turbulent Kashmir to shun violence and at the same time said security forces will have to act in self-defence if they are attacked.

Stating that a political solution to the problem in Jammu and Kashmir will have to be fond soon within the Constitutional parameters, Jaitley said security forces need not use force if the protests are peaceful.

“But if they bring weapons, explosives (and) attack security forces… come in thousands and pelt stones on security forces, this constitutes an attack and security forces will have to act in self-defence,” he told ‘Aaj Tak’ news channel.

At an event in Jammu yesterday, Jaitley while acknowledging that the situation in Kashmir is “serious” asserted that there can be no compromise with those indulging in violence and described stone-pelters as “not satyagrahis but aggressors” who target police and security forces.

“I want to appeal to the youth of this country who have strayed on wrong path, that they should leave the wrong path as they will otherwise be a loser in the end,” he said.

Jaitley also blamed Pakistan for not just training and funding terrorists but also for instigating the youth in Kashmir Valley.

“Security forces cannot lower their guard (against terrorists),” he said, adding, “Those who live by the gun, (will) perish (by the gun).”

On possible solution to the problem, he said separatists and terrorists will have to be isolated while needs of the common citizens in the Valley addressed compassionately.

“We have to take along the common citizen of Kashmir Valley. There cannot be any scope for any injustice to the public at large but at the same time there is also no room for any compassion for terrorists,” he said.

On talks with Pakistan, he said the present government as well as the previous ones were of the view that dialogue with the neighbour has to continue but the issues to be discussed will be decided by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Jaitley said armed separatists receive “weapons, training as well as funding from Pakistan with a view to destabilise the country… there is evidence to this effect.