Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday ruled out holding talks with Pakistan regarding Jammu and Kashmir.

“Some people say we should talk to Pakistan,” Shah said. “Why should we talk to Pakistan? We will not talk. We would rather talk to Gujjars, Paharis and the youth of Kashmir.”

Shah made the remarks at a rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla, reported The Indian Express.

Among those in attendance were also government employees, who accused their senior officials of “forcing” them to attend Shah’s rally, according to the the newspaper.

Shah is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. This is his first visit to the Union Territory ever since the Centre scrapped statehood and special status under Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. The former state was split into two Union Territories.

The Centre had also repealed Article 35A, which ensured special rights and privileges to people defined as “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, the region has been under central rule.

In his Wednesday’s speech, Shah said that the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir would be held as soon as the Election Commission completes the process of revision of electoral rolls.

The revision, which began in August, is likely to be over by November, according to NDTV.

In his speech, Shah also blamed the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress for the situation in the Union Territory.

“I have come here to ask you, Mehbooba [Mufti] and Farooq [Abdullah] sahib, tell us how much investment has come to Kashmir in 70 years, how many industries have been set up, how many factories have been opened and how many youths have been given employment?” Shah asked. “In three years, [Narendra] Modi brought an investment of Rs 56,000 crore.”

Shah also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party government does not tolerate terrorism and wants to wipe it out, according to NDTV. “We want to make Jammu and Kashmir the most peaceful place in the country.”

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