August 2016 News

We Walk The Road Vajpayee Mapped, Kashmir Can Feel Azadi That India Has: PM Modi

9 August 2016
The Indian Express
Milind Ghatwai

Alirajpur (MP): In first public remarks on the situation in Kashmir where violent protests have raged since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday reached out to the Valley, especially its youth, by invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mantra of 'insaniyat, jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat' to suggest it alone offers the way forward through dialogue. Speaking at a rally near the birthplace of revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad, the Prime Minister promised 'not to let insaniyat (humanity) and Kashmiriyat be tainted' and underlined that 'jamhooriyat ka raasta hi baatchit ka raasta hai, samvad ka raasta hai, loktantra ke asoolon ka raasta hai (democracy alone is the path to dialogue, democratic values)'. 'When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, he had adopted the path of insaniyat, jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat, and we walk the same path. From this sacred ground of Chandrashekhar Azad, I want to tell my brothers and sisters in Kashmir that the strength our freedom fighters gave this country, they gave the same strength to Kashmir. The freedom every Indian enjoys, that freedom is also enjoyed by every Kashmiri,' he said. Describing Kashmir as a 'heaven on earth loved by every Indian', Modi said a 'handful of misguided people are hurting its great tradition'. He said 'stones are being handed' to 'innocent children, youths who should be holding laptops, volleyballs, cricket bats, books who ought to be playing in parks, carrying dreams'. He said 'this will help the politics of some' but 'what will happen to innocent children'. His remarks came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti urged him to revive Vajpayee's Kashmir dialogue process and 'apply balm on the wounds' of the state. 'We want Kashmir to attain new heights of development. We want to empower every panchayat of Kashmir. We want to create employment opportunities for its youth. And I want to congratulate the government of Jammu and Kashmir for ensuring that the Amarnath Yatra continues in a grand manner despite the designs of a few. Lakhs are undertaking the Yatra.' 'I appeal to the youth of Kashmir to help us maintain this heaven on earth I also want to tell youth who have picked up guns in the name of Maoism and militancy so much blood has been shed, so many innocents have died but has anyone gained anything? It's time to disarm and pick up the plough. This red earth will turn green,' he said. 'Be it the J&K government under Mehbooba or our government in Delhi, we are trying to find a way through our problems on the road to development. Those who cannot digest development have taken the road to destruction. I wish to thank all political parties, especially the Congress, for their very mature approach on the issue of Kashmir. All parties speak in one voice on Kashmir, committed to one direction,' he said. The Prime Minister said 'Kashmir wants peace the common man there depends on tourism for a living the apples you grow should find markets, fetch money for your labour. Whatever help you need, the government of India is with you the governments of J&K and Delhi, all political parties and 125 crore Indians are your well-wishers, and want you to develop.'