Jammu, May 28: Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was visiting Jammu on Monday, has supported the central government’s proposal over talks with Pakistan and the Hurriyat.
Naidu, who was addressing scientists at Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) at Jammu, said India is willing to have dialogue with anyone but the initiative must be reciprocated.
“We want to have good relations with all, including Pakistan. We don’t have any problem in talking with our neighbours, including immediate neighbour (Pakistan) but they (neighbour) also have to reciprocate in same manner,” he said.
The remark comes just days after Home minister Rajnath Singh said the government was ready to hold dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference leadership and Pakistan.
Terming peace a prerequisite for progress and development, Naidu said that in the growing world of liberalization, privatization and globalization, nobody affords isolation.
“When the entire world is progressing, other parts of country are progressing, why Jammu and Kashmir should lag behind. We should put this question to ourselves, to find out the answer,” he said.
“The health and wealth are interlinked, healthy state leads to wealthy states and here health means ‘peace, law and order, harmony and overall development. It’s up to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether they want to live like this (present situation) or want to live in peace,” the Vice-President said.
Appealed to people to give peace a chance, he said: “I want to ask people to focus on peace because peace and prosperity go hand in hand, without peace there cannot be progress.”
Expressing pain over recent violence against minor girls, the Vice-President called for a complete change in the mindset of people about women.
Without naming the Kathua incident, Naidu who was in Jammu said the recent incidents violence against children was unfortunate and shameful. “…but now unfortunately if you see what is happening in certain areas, some incidents involving children, it’s really shameful,” he said.
An eight-year-old nomad girl was abducted, gangraped and murdered in Rasana village of Kathua – 8o kilometers from Jammu – in January this year.
The horrific gangrape-and-murder case sparked outrage across the world. Initially, only a juvenile was detained, and the local police claimed the case had been solved. However, after protests by families of the victim and juvenile, the case was handed over to the Crime Branch.