Mehbooba points finger at China for troubles in Kashmir

Mehbooba points finger at China for troubles in Kashmir

Mehbooba points finger at China for troubles in Kashmir
 Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday blamed “external forces”, including China, for creating trouble in the state, which witnessed a terror strike on Amarnath pilgrims days ago.

Her remarks came after her meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here to discuss the security scenario in the state and the steps taken by her government to ensure foolproof security for the pilgrims.

"The fight in Kashmir is not that of law and order problems. We cannot win this war unless political parties and the entire country supports us," she told reporters after the nearly hour-long meeting.

She said foreign powers are also behind the attacks that are taking place. "Now, even China has started meddling in our affairs," she said.
 
Her comments came days after Beijing made an offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on resolving Kashmir. India has rejected the offer, saying there is no scope for a third party mediation. New Delhi has been maintaining that the issue is bilateral and can be resolved only through talks between the two countries.

Her meeting with Singh came five days after the attack in which seven pilgrims from Gujarat were killed. Officials said steps taken to ensure the security of pilgrims as well as the general situation in the state were discussed during the meeting.

Following the attack on pilgrims, security agencies have intensified anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Officials said they have been told to implement the security plans with full vigour.

Security officials had earlier expressed fear that the attack on pilgrims may trigger a divide between Hindus and Muslim communities in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. This is the second major attack on Amarnath pilgrims. In August 2000, 30 pilgrims were killed during an encounter between security forces and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.

At a meeting between government and political parties on Friday, Opposition parties had questioned how such an attack happened when there were prior intelligence inputs.

Sources had said that Congress leaders raised three specific questions on whether the vehicle that came under attack was registered, why was journey allowed after stipulated time and why the pilgrims were not registered.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said he found it amusing that no one has claimed responsibility for the attack when terrorists usually own it up.

Though tough questions were raised, the parties wanted the government should seize the opportunity where even the Hurriyat leaders have condemned the attack on pilgrims. When Home Minister Rajnath Singh mentioned that the response to the attack has shown that Kashmiriyat is alive, all parties agreed to it and asked the government to use the opportunity to take the process of normalisation forward.
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