Pakistan must stop infiltrating Kashmir with terrorists and show its intent for peace, Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh has said. India is willing to hold talks if Islamabad takes the initiative, he told The Indian Express in an interview published on Sunday.
Singh said Pakistan has no sympathy for Kashmiris and is using them as “tools”.
“If Pakistan is ready to talk, why won’t we talk?” Singh said in the interview. “We want to have good relations with our neighbour. But even the neighbour will have to take some initiative. Pakistan is firing at our borders, indulging in ceasefire violations. It is trying to infiltrate terrorists. It is not mending its ways. But it will have to one day.”
Alleged ceasefire violations by Pakistan across the International Border have been reported in Jammu and adjacent districts for nearly two weeks.
“During Ramzan, we have announced the suspension of operation,” Singh said. “But you [Pakistan] are indulging in ceasefire violation. You don’t want that our Muslim brothers and sisters in Kashmir should get an opportunity to have a peaceful Ramzan.” He said that Pakistan has no sympathy for Kashmiris.
The government has asked the armed forces not to launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramzan. Singh said the government may extend the “ceasefire” in Kashmir “if the situation remains peaceful”.
The home minister urged Islamabad to make a public statement to show it wants talks for peace. “Pakistan should stop pushing in terrorists. They keep saying we are not doing this [sending terrorists to Kashmir]. If it is so, let’s come together and jointly launch action against these terrorists. If they have the intent and honesty, they should do this.”
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had said in April that a peaceful resolution to disputes could be found through “comprehensive and meaningful dialogue”. On May 21, Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman responded saying India will take seriously any statement from Pakistan calling for peace.