Kashmir issue ‘settled beyond any debate’: Union minister snubs Mehbooba

Jammu: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday termed the Kashmir issue as “settled beyond any debate”, a day after J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said only Prime Minister Narendra Modi could resolve it.

Mufti on Saturday said only Modi could resolve the Kashmir problem and appealed to him to “take us out of the sticky spot” over the “70-year-old issue”.

“Kashmir issue is settled beyond any debate,” Singh said while addressing a public function in Reasi district.

He said “those seeking to rake it up as an issue, are doing so either out of a vested political interest because they have been thrown out of power or because they belong to so-called separatist camp and have a vested interest in keeping the Kashmir pot boiling to sustain their relevance”.

“Now it is a war of perceptions and we are ready to fight it out conclusively,” Singh said.

“Kashmir is a closed chapter for 125 crore people of India and we shall not allow a handful of self-seeking activists or self-styled intellectuals to open this chapter, thus holding to ransom the future of the youth of Kashmir,” he said.

Mehbooba, whose party is running the J&K government in coalition with the BJP, had said “He (PM) has a strong mandate. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him”.

“You know the situation in Kashmir. J&K is unlike rest of states of the country. It is 70-year-long issue not a two or three-year-old problem,” she said.

Singh reiterated that the youth of Kashmir wished to be a part of the development journey led by the prime minister and expressed confidence that the situation in the valley will be back to normal very soon.

He called for liberal support to non-profit educational institutions like Ekal Vidyalaya which are aimed at imparting education to the poorest of the poor in the most remote and inaccessible hilly areas.