Bhabra: Invoking former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the 32-day turmoil in Kashmir on Tuesday and advocated a path of 'dialogue' in the spirit of insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and kashmiriyat.
He also said that a handful of 'misled people' were harming the great traditions of Kashmir and urged its youth to help make the state a 'paradise'.
Addressing a public meeting here to flag-off '70 Saal Azadi, Yaad Karo Kurbani' celebrations at the birthplace of freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad, PM Modi added that his government was looking for developmental solutions to people's problems.
On an emotional note, he said that it was painful to see innocent youngsters, who should be holding laptops, books and cricket bats, 'handed' stones.
Obviously alluding to the voices favouring 'azadi' (freedom) for the state, he said people of Jammu and Kashmir had the same freedoms as enjoyed by every Indian.
These were PM 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.
"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. Kashmir has the same freedom that every Indian feels," he said.
"Today, one feels pained to see innocent youths have been handed stones. Politics of some people is clicking but what will happen to these gullible and simple youths. Humanity and Kashmiriyat will not be allowed to be hit. The path of democracy and dialogue is there," PM Modi added.
Asserting that the state government, in which 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. The common man in Kashmir wants peace," he said.
The PM complimented CM Mehbooba Mufti for ensuring that the Amarnath yatra continues despite the 'malicious intentions' of a few people.
At the same time, he hailed other political parties, especially 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," PM Modi said.
Over 55 people have died and many have been injured in the violence in Kashmir Valley.
Watch PM's speech below:
Every Indian loves Kashmir. Kashmir wants peace. We want to create maximum job opportunities for Kashmir’s youth.https://t.co/KmXdTvAiJ7
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2016
(With Agency inputs)