What Modi said during his Kashmir visit

Will break the backbone of militancy

Development of the people in the region ‘a priority’,

Kashmiri Pandits be brought back to the region with regards to the spirit of ‘Kashmiriyat’

Srinagar: Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his visit to Kashmir on Sunday, vowed that his party would ‘break the back’ of militancy in the conflict-torn region. He stated that the development in Jammu and Kashmir was a ‘priority’ for the government of India.

This is second visit to the region, and comes months before the Lok Sabha elections. Apart from JK, Modi also visited Ladakh.

During his address at Sher-e-Kashmir international convention center (SKICC), Modi assured the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and the entire country that his government would fight militancy with full might and “give a befitting response” to every militant.

“We will break the back of militancy in the state,” he said.

“These boys and girls were killed because they wanted peace and wished to live,” he said and stated that they became victims of militancy. He said that this was the ‘reality’ of militancy in the region.

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Over the past few years, anti-militancy operations have intensified, underlined mainly after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed, sparking uprisings and shutdowns. Last year, more than 250 militants were killed across Kashmir while this figure was over 220 in 2017.

Modi paid homage to killed armyman Nazir Ahmed Wani and army man Aurangzeb and said the “real heroes are those who live to fulfill their dreams and the biggest cowards are the ones who kill others’ dreams”.

He said that his government would follow former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “dream” about JK.

“We will not sit back. We will keep making efforts in realising his dream. We will take every person, in all three regions of the state, along with the motto of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’,” he said.

Touching the topic on the conduct of panchayat and municipal polls in the region last year, Modi congratulated the people for their “participation in the electoral exercises”.

“This determination towards democracy is a loud message to the people who are filled with hatred. In the midst of attempts by some people to spread negativity, and without caring about threats, the way you reached polling booths further resolves your determination for future of your children and for development of the state,” he said.

The municipal and panchayat electoral polls saw a greater percentage of voter turnout in areas apart from Srinagar city.

He called the development of the people here in the region as a ‘priority’ for his government and stated that they would ‘make efforts to realise the dream of prosperous and peaceful Kashmir’.

Talking about surgical strikes, he said that the country had making efforts to realise the dream of prosperous and peaceful Kashmir. He further spoke regarding the return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.

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He said the spirit of ‘Kashmiriyat’ demands that those Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave their property and land during violence in the region were brought back with honour.

“We are making attempts in this direction under Prime Minister’s development package,” Modi said.

He said the administration in the state, which is presently under president’s rule, has starting construction of transit accommodation at Vessu in southern Kashmir and Singhpora in northern Kashmir.

Modi also had a digital interaction in the city with students from different states and responded to questions of some students from different universities.

“My dream is that instead of our students going to other countries for higher studies, students from all over the world must come here to study,” he responded to a question from a student from outside JK.

Following his day-long tour across the region, he had a closed-door interaction with newly-elected panchs and sarpanchs at the SKICC.

There was complete shutdown in Kashmir on the call given by the Joint Resistance Leadership on Modi’s visit, while authorities had suspended mobile internet facilities.

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