Rajnath to assess post-ceasefire situation before deciding on extension


JAMMU: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is visiting Jammu and Kashmir next week for high-level review of situation post-conditional ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir and upcoming Shri Amarnath Ji yatra arrangements, which is scheduled to commence from June 28 besides situation along the International Border and facilities required to be given to the border dwellers.

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewing the progress of Department of J&K Affairs at a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

Official sources told the Excelsior that the top brass of Union Ministry of Home Affairs and State Government were working out convenient dates for the visit of Rajnath Singh, which could last two days and would cover Jammu and Kashmir regions. Rajnath had last visited all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir on four-day visit from September 8-11.
“The Home Minister has decided to himself take a review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of conditional ceasefire announced by him on May 16 during the holy month of Ramzan amidst indications from some quarters that the ceasefire can be extended if the level of violence goes down,” sources said, adding extension or no extension in ceasefire beyond Eid festival could depend on review of security situation by Rajnath with top brass of the J&K Government, heads of paramilitary forces, Intelligence agencies, operating in Jammu and Kashmir, and local police.
Sources said Rajnath would also take a view of the gains achieved by Centre’s Special Interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Home Minister’s visit assumed significance as it comes close on the heels of India and Pakistan agreeing to adhere to 2003 ceasefire agreement on Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) and separatists expressing their willingness to hold talks with the Centre with certain clarifications.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has repeatedly been batting for Indo-Pak dialogue but Rajnath and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had recently stated that talks can be held with Pakistan only if it shuns terror and stop pushing militants into J&K.