Rajnath Singh

The government of India is “ready to talk to everyone” over the Kashmir issue, the home minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday. 

After a meeting of the central zonal council here, he told reporters: “I think the (Kashmir) matter will be resolved. We are ready to talk to everyone. As far as militancy is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination.”

“Militancy in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored,” he said. The government of India Friday called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York, barely 24 hours after agreeing to the engagement, citing the killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps of slain Kashmiri militant commander BurhanWani. 

About the issues raised in the zonal council meeting, the home minister said that out of 22 points, 20 have been resolved. In the last four years, in 12 meetings, 680 issues were discussed of which 428 were resolved, he said.

At the meeting, progress of implementation of recommendations made at the last meeting—on need to increase density of roads and upgrading existing roads, assistance required to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and modernisation of police forces—were discussed, an official release issued here said.

Singh said that it has been the objective of the present government to strengthen the institution of zonal councils as well as the inter-state council to promote and maintain a good federal atmosphere of cooperation among states and the Centre.

The central zonal council comprises Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. Its meeting aims at addressing common concerns of the participating states and settling cross-border concerns, if any.

Five zonal councils—central, western, northern, southern and eastern—were established under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.