With Kashmir on the edge, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has deferred five-day visit to the United States to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue, to handle crisis in Kashmir that refuses to die down after Hizbul’s poster boy Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter.
A Home Ministry official attributed busy schedule during the coming Monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18, as the reason for deferment of the US visit. But sources said the visit has been postponed because of the grim situation in Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from a visit to four African countries, has reportedly taken a serious view of handling of the Kashmir situation which is a primary responsibility of the home ministry, especially when the national security advisor (NSA) is out of the country.
The high-level meeting chaired by PM Modi was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar among others.
PM Modi is expected to make some appeal for peace in Kashmir later in the day.
Union home ministry was late in responding to the Kashmir crisis as no meeting was held in the North Block on July 8, the day Wani was killed and the next day on Saturday when valley erupted into violence.
On Monday, Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and others on the Kashmir situation.
Doval had to return early from Kenya to join in the efforts to defuse the volatile situation in the valley. Rajnath, also called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah to find a way out of the Kashmir imbroglio.
Now, Rajnath is expected to visit US in September for the Homeland Security Dialogue to sign crucial agreements on terrorism screening centre and getting technological support in several key areas.