‘Will protect the country from within, if needed, will cross border’ says Union Home Minister

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while addressing a summit on Saturday said that the Indian Army will not only protect the country from within but, if needed, will also cross the border.

He was speaking at India Rising Summit organized by News18, said that India wants to maintain good relations with the neighbouring country unless it stops aiding terrorism.

Praising the Indian Army’s valor, Home Minister said, “Now the US is condemning Pakistan. I don’t know what happened to Pakistan. We want good relations with Pakistan but it has refused to accept our offer of friendship. Pakistan is giving legitimacy to UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed who is establishing a political party there and wants to contest in elections.”

Speaking on Kashmir Issue, the Minister said the government is open to holding talks with anyone in order to find a permanent solution to the prevailing Kashmir issue.

He said the Government has also appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, to initiate the talks inviting people from all sections.
He said Kashmir’s children were like his own and would not allow anyone brainwash them into radicalization.

“I want to tell those who are trying to teach jihad to innocent Kashmiri youths that they should first learn the real concept of jihad in Islam,” he said adding that the Indian Government never differentiated between Kashmir’s children and children from other parts of the country. He also said Kashmir’s children were like his own and he will not allow anyone to brainwash them.

The Minister also added that he personally urged Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti withdraw cases against first-time stone-pelters.

“We have forgiven first-time stone-pelters. They might have been influenced by others. They are young. We need to give them a second chance,” he said, referring to J & K government’s decision of withdrawing 9,730 cases of first time stone pelting.

Speaking on terrorism, he said PM Modi had managed to address the issue at a global level, bringing the international community on board.

“The battle against Naxals can’t be won through bullets. We are taking several developmental initiatives in this direction. We are trying to reach those areas which have remained unreachable since independence.

“Naxalism was a huge problem for India but in the last four years we have now achieved major success in that space,” he said.