Without rejecting talks with separatists, peace is priority, Jaitley

Srinagar, May 19
Without outrightly rejecting the possibility of holding talks with separatists, including Hurriyat Conference (HC), Defence minister Arun Jaitley today said first priority at the moment was to restore normalcy in the Kashmir valley.
Talking to journalists at the end of two-day Good and Services Tax (GST) 14th Council meeting here this afternoon Mr Jaitley said the current situation in the Kashmir valley was as a result when you took to arms and violence to kill people, security forces and damage property.
Defence minister in reply to a question said people in every state have sentiments in the entire country but that does not once should go for violence.
When he was reminded that during the NDA government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee Government of India (GoI) hold talks with the separatists, Mr Jaitley, who was also a cabinet minister then, said let the situation become normal that is the top priority at the moment adding any decision on this will be announced by the central government.
You cannot address the aspiration when there is a war against the country, state and local people who are losing their lives, Mr Jaitley said and warned that those taking to violence will be certainly made accountable for this.
He said the present situation of burning schools, kill people and destroy property was being funded by across the border. Average resident of Kashmir was being targeted, he said.
About the alleged admission by some separatist leaders during a sting operation by a television channel recently that they are receiving money from across the border to instigate people for violence, the Defence Minsiter said “I am sure the concern agency will take whatever action has to be taken in this matter”.
Mr Jaitley said we have to deal with those who kill people.
When asked if GoI will return two power projects to state as per agreement between PDP and BJP when the coalition government was formed in the state, Mr Jaitley said the state ministers must be taking these issues.

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