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Jairam advocates inclusive politics in Jammu & Kashmir

Jairam advocates inclusive  politics in Jammu & Kashmir
With an eye on 2014 general elections and the challenge posed by an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress party has adopted a more liberal approach towards Jammu and Kashmir. Interacting with journalists during his two-day trip in the Valley, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh advocated moving towards inclusive politics rather than alienating people through use of force and said that the time has come to change what Kashmir has been witnessing for the last fifty years.

‘We need security agencies like CRPF and BSF, but their role should be restricted only for security purposes, they should not determine what policy needs to be adopted in the Valley,’ said Ramesh. The minister was of the view that instead of security agencies representing Indian government in the valley, time has come that the developmental work in Kashmir should represent the Central government. ‘Kashmir is ripe for a major developmental push, we need to open IITs and IIMs here and we should make an effort to bring IT companies in the valley,’ said Ramesh.

The minister however, was critical of the hyper nationalism evoked by political parties and in particular BJP, Ramesh said that this will lead to isolation of Kashmiri population. ‘BJP brand of nationalistic politics will hurt Jammu and Kashmir, they have to move beyond thumping their chests and have talk about integration of people,’ said Ramesh.

Talking about the attitude of people towards Kashmiri population, the minister said that though Kashmir has changed over the last few years, the bigger question that looms before us is whether India has changed its perspective towards Kashmiri’s. Toeing the same line as that of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, the rural development minister said that it is high time that Kashmiri’s should be seen with suspicion. ‘We need to be more inclusive and have to show sensitivity towards them, when they go to other parts of the country for work,’ said Ramesh.
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