Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Friday that India wants to have good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, but cautioned that mere shaking of hands would not restore such relations between the two c ountries.
Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party election rally in Uri town on phone after inclement weather prevented his scheduled arrival to the border town in Kashmir, he said: "Our prime minister (Narendra Modi) shook hands with the prime minister of Pakistan (during SAARC summit yesterday).
"But just shaking hands won't help. The hearts should come together.
"Our prime minister took the initiative to help Pakistan at the time of the floods but Pakistan refused the offer. Instead, they started firing on the border as a result of which five to six of our people lost their lives."
Rajnath Singh said the atmosphere of terrorism has been going on for a long time in Jammu and Kashmir and an entire generation has been its victim.
"Hundreds of families have been destroyed. I want to assure you that once you elect the BJP government in the state, we will take Jammu and Kashmir out of the shadows of terrorism.
"We will not allow Kashmir, which was once known as heaven, to become a hell."
Targeting the state government, he said the central government had to step in to provide relief to flood victims.
"The prime minister visited the state immediately and announced a special package but whatever we gave, we gave that to the state government and I cannot say if you got some relief or not. You know better than me," he said.
Rajnath Singh sought a decisive mandate for the BJP in the state assembly elections, charging the Congress, National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party with trying to deceive voters by installing fear about his party in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.