State, centre on same page on J&K development: Paswan

The Centre and state governments are on the same page and are working in “full coordination” to ensure peace and development of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

On the issue of talks with separatists, Paswan said they need to realise that Kashmir is an integral part of India and any demand they raise should be within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

“There is no confrontation between Centre and the state as seen in the past. It has decreased. Leadership at the Centre and state are in more coordination this time for working for the peace, progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir,” Paswan said.

“Earlier, there were differences between Centre and state. They were not working in coordination with each other but the governments at Centre and the state are (now) on one page and are in full coordination with each other,” he added.

On the issue of implementation of Food Security Act, Paswan said the state government has implemented Food Security Act and also Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) in the state.

“The state government has given additional quota of food to its people under MMSFES. We will provide them whatever extra food quantity they need under the scheme,” he said.

“Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has also said that the only aim of the government is to ensure development of the state and the Prime Minister has open-heartedly helped Jammu and Kashmir when floods devastated it,” he said.

The minister further said that “whatever is in the interest of Kashmir, the central government will fully help and support it but as far as the international policy is concerned, the stand of India is clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India”.

“Kashmir is a head of India. It is the jewel of India but after the emergence of terrorism, the normal life was crippled, tourism was hit. It is returning back to its normalcy after decades-long militancy.

“Entire country is with Jammu and Kashmir and separatists should now understand this… That Kashmir is integral part of India,” he said.

“I have met separatists, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and told them that any demand that they raise, should be within the Constitution of India as the Government of India’s stand is clear that J&K is an integral part of India,” he added.

“You (separatists) should come forward for talks butwithin the Constitution of India as Geelani himself was MLA in the state,” Paswan said.

Asked whether the Government of India will hold talks with separatists anytime, he said: “Government of India has cleared its stand that India is one and Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and unless the separatists do not clear their stand, the talks are not possible.”

On the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said that state and central governments are on one page for ensuring peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir.

“As the government has raised the demand shifting of FCI Godown from Srinagar city, we have told them to provide us separate land for setting up the godown at an alternative site,” he said.

On the issue of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said terrorism has no religion or caste and their only aim is to create terror by engineering attacks. India is creating a public opinion in the world against global terrorism, he said.


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