Press Trust of india

Govt ready to talk to everyone over Kashmir issue: Rajnath Singh

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Lucknow, Sep 24:  Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government is “ready to talk to everyone” over the Kashmir issue, while asserting that militancy in the Valley is “Pakistan-sponsored”.

After a meeting of the Central Zonal Council here, he told reporters, “I think the (Kashmir) matter will be resolved. We are ready to talk to everyone. As far as terrorism is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination.”

“Terrorism in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored,” he said.

The government Friday called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York, barely 24 hours after agreeing to the engagement, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

About the issues raised in the zonal council meeting, the Home minister said out of 22 points, 20 have been resolved, adding in the last four years, in 12 meetings, 680 issues were discussed of which 428 were resolved.

At the meeting, progress of implementation of recommendations made at the last meeting — on need to increase density of roads and upgrading existing roads, assistance required to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and modernisation of police forces were discussed, an official release issued here said.

Singh said it has been the objective of the present government to strengthen the institution of zonal councils as well as the inter-state council to promote and maintain a good federal atmosphere of cooperation among states and the Centre.

Besides Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath and Trivedra Singh Rawat respectively, the meeting was attended by representatives from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as well.

The Central Zonal Council comprises Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. The council’s meeting aims at addressing common concerns of the participating states and settling cross-border concerns, if any.

Five Zonal Councils — central, western, northern, southern and eastern — were established under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

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