'Kashmiri youth not under terrorist influence'
4 November 2006
Kollam: Nissar Ahmed, leader of a youth delegation from Jammu & Kashmir which arrived here on Saturday under a cultural exchange programme, has said that the youth of his State are no more under terrorist influence. Talking to The Hindu , he said the new development is bringing about a dawn of hope in Kashmir. Mr. Ahmed said that during the 1990s a section of the Kashmiri youth had been carried away by the propaganda of fundamentalists and other external forces. These forces misled the youth and spread the canard that Kashmir is hated all over India. Some of the youth, especially those in the age group of 14 to 25, believed it. But that misconception has now been appreciably erased from the minds of the majority. The new generation of Kashmiri youth proudly believe that they are already an independent lot and a part of India. The opening of new roads to the other side of the border has helped the Kashmiri people to understand the realities there. Many from Kashmir visited the other side and saw for themselves the harsh realities there. They witnessed the sufferings and realised that life is 'wonderfully better off' in Kashmir and India. He said that cultural exchange trips to all parts of the country would help create a better understanding between the youth of Kashmir and the people of other States. It will make the Kashmiri youth see for themselves how much they are loved in other parts of the country. From 14 districts in Jammu and Kashmir, 14 delegations have gone on a cultural exchange programme to 14 different States. It is the delegation from Jammu which is in Kerala.