PM reaches out to people of Kashmir, appeals for peace
Bhabra (MP) (PTI): Breaking his silence on the 32-day turmoil in Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated the path of “democracy and dialogue” to restore peace in the spirit of ‘insaniyat’ (humanity), ‘jamhuriyat’ (democracy) and ‘Kashmiriyat’.
Reaching out to the people of the Valley, which saw the death of more than 55 people in clashes and a record-breaking curfew in large parts, Modi said it was painful to see innocent youngsters, who should be holding laptops, books and cricket bats, “handed” stones, and appealed to them to maintain peace and harmony in the “heaven on earth”.
“When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, he had adopted the path of ‘insaniyat’, ‘jamhuriyat’ and ‘Kashmiriyat’ and we walk the same road. I want to tell the brothers and sisters of Kashmir from this great birthplace of Chandra Shekhar Azad that Kashmir has the same strength that has been given to (other parts of) India by our freedom fighters,” he said.
Alluding to the voices favouring ‘azadi’ (freedom) for the state, Modi said the people of Jammu and Kashmir had the same freedom as people do everywhere in India.
These were Modi’s first comments on the continuing unrest in the Valley in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces on July 8.
Modi, who was addressing a public rally, also asserted that the Mehbooba Mufti government and the Centre were working together to address the state’s problems.
“Today, one feels pained to see that innocent youth have been handed stones. Politics of some people is clicking but what will happen to these gullible and simple youth. Humanity and Kashmiriyat will not be allowed to be hit. The path of democracy and dialogue is there,” he said.
Asserting that the state government, in which the BJP is a partner, along with the Centre, is working towards the state’s development, he said his government would do everything in this regard and will help lawyers, doctors, those depending on tourism and apple growers in their endeavours.
“Our Kashmir is heaven for the countrymen. Every Indian has a dream to travel to Kashmir some day. But we can see that a handful of people in Kashmir, which is loved by India so much…a few misled people are harming this great tradition,” he said.
“The common man in Kashmir wants peace,” he said.
His government wants to take Kashmir to new heights of development, empower its panchayats and give job opportunities to its youth, he said.
“Peace, unity and harmony in Kashmir…And I will especially call upon the youngsters of Kashmir that my friends, let’s see to it that Kashmir remains heaven on earth. Let’s move forward with this dream,” he said.
He hailed other political parties, especially the Congress, for speaking in one voice on the Kashmir issue, calling it the strength of India. “We would like to move forward with this strength,” he said.
“The Governments of India and Jammu & Kashmir, besides 125 crore Indians, wish you well. They want your development. Whatever India has to give for your development, we are ready to give,” he said.
In Kashmir, there has been no dearth of people willing to die for the country, he said, asking the masses to join hands in nation-building.
Modi was here to kick off a 15-day exercise–‘70 Saal Azadi-Zara Yaad Karo Kurbani’–a BJP initiative to commemorate Independence Day.