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Kashmir issue will be resolved soon: Rajnath

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Says ‘if not through talks, then we know how’; inaugurates two vital bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation

Srinagar, Jul 20: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted on Saturday that the Kashmir issue will be resolved and no power on the earth can stop it.

Singh said Kashmir is in his heart and the government wants it to become not only paradise of India but tourist paradise of the world.

Addressing a meeting after inaugurating a bridge on the river Ujh in the Kathua district, Singh said, “I am saying this with all responsibility that the Kashmir issue will be resolved soon. I am sure of your (people’s) support.”

The minister said he had invited for talks several times the people who claim to be fighting for the resolution of Kashmir problem. “They didn’t come forward. They have sent their children outside for education, and are forcing 12-14 years children to pelt stones.”

Singh was the Union Home Minister in the previous government.

“What kind of Azadi do they have in mind? Do they want the type of Azadi Pakistan has. Let me tell you (separatists) whether you talk or not, Kashmir issue will be resolved soon,” Singh said.

“Kashmir ki samasya ka hal ho key raheyga, duniya ki koi taqat nahi rook shakti hai (Resolution of Kashmir issue is bound to happen and no power on earth can stop it). If not through talks, then we know how,” Singh said.

He urged people to stay united and work for personal and the country’s betterment.

“You have many opportunities. You can join the defence forces. You can excel in sports. There is no limit to opportunities to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Defence minister was on a day-long visit to the state. Earlier he paid tributes to the soldiers killed in the 1999 Kargil War at a memorial in Drass sector.

Singh also inaugurated two bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation at Ujh in Kathua and Basantar in Samba district.

The 1000-metre bridge over the Ujh river in Kathua was constructed at a cost of Rs 50 crore. It is the longest bridge constructed by BRO so far.

“We want speedy development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

The 617-metre Basantar bridge in Samba has been built on Rajpura–Madwal–Pangadur–Phulpur road over Basantar river.

The bridges will provide smooth connectivity for residents during the monsoon season and are vital for mobility of security forces in the border areas, an official spokesman said.

The defence minister said roads and bridges are lifelines of a nation and play a vital role in the development of remote areas. He praised the BRO for working under hostile conditions in difficult areas, away from their families.

Reiterating Central government’s commitment to improve connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly monitoring the progress of these projects and funds are being made available accordingly.

Jitendra Singh, the Minister of state in PMO, too underlined the development programme of the Central government and Modi’s steps to boost connectivity in the state.

Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat, BRO Director General Lt Gen Harpal Singh, other senior army, civil and police officers attended the event.

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