Will talk to youth of Kashmir instead of Pakistan; says Home Minister Amit Shah

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Addressing them without bulletproof protection, he asked youth to come out of the stereotypes and question those who misled them

SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 25: Extending a hand of friendship to the youth of Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday asked them to get out of the stereotypes and ask those who misled you as to what they had done.

Referring to the era of development starting in Jammu and Kashmir after the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a decision on August 5, 2019, Amit Shah said that he has come only to speak about development. “But before that I also want to speak about what is on my mind. I was taunted, cursed, I was condemned in very strong words and I want to speak openly with you today, and that is why today I am standing before you without any bulletproof protection and security,’’ he added.

“Farooq Abdullah has advised me that the Government of India should talk to Pakistan, but I want to tell Farooq sahib and especially all of you that if I want to talk, then I will talk to my brothers and sisters and the youth of the Valley,’’ Home Minister said.

“Enough is enough, 40,000 people have died,’’ he said in his address to the youth on his third day of the visit to Jammu and Kashmir. However, these people always kept saying talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat, and what had been the result, he asked, adding they destroyed tourism in the Valley.

Pointing out that 1,31,000 tourists from India and abroad visited Jammu and Kashmir from March 2020 to March 2021, which is the highest figure since Independence, he said that those disturbing peace wanted no industry to come up, youth to remain unemployed and indulge in stone pelting. “We want youth to pick up books instead of stones, instruments instead of weapons and to make their life,’’ he added.

“What good did those who placed stones and weapons in your hands,’’ he asked, adding they talk about Pakistan. Pak Occupied Kashmir is nearby. However, ask them whether villages there have electricity, hospitals, medical colleges, drinking water, toilets for women?, he said, adding there is nothing and these people talk about Pakistan. “I have come to tell you that you have as much right in India as any citizen of India. You have as much right to development and the treasury of the Government of India as every citizen of India has. The people of Kashmir have to take this process forward with determination,’’ Home Minister said.

Asking them as to whether they want to come out of this atmosphere, he said the people of the Valley should decide whether to follow the path of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and make Jammu and Kashmir the most developed Union Territory of the country. “Neither the government, nor the Governor, nor I can carry forward the work of development of the Valley, only the youth and people of the Valley can do it,’’ he said, adding that he has come with an open heart before the people of Kashmir that time has come to usher in a new era. Post August 5, 2019, a new era of development has begun in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Valley and by the year 2024 beautiful results will be seen, he added.

This step has been taken with the sole aim of developing the Valley, Jammu & Kashmir and the newly formed Ladakh, he said, adding that what Kashmir needs, will be seen before your very eyes by 2024. Amit Shah said Kashmir is very close to Narendra Modi’s heart, whenever he speaks, he wants to know whether all the schemes are being implemented properly or not, he asks whether the benefits of all the schemes like the rest of the states of India are reaching the beneficiaries or not.

He asked people to get rid of fear from their hearts as no one can disturb the peace and development journey of Kashmir and they can trust the Government of India. The intention and motive of those who disturb this journey of development is not clear, he added.

“They ask why curfew was imposed after August 5, why the internet was shut down. They mislead the youth of Kashmir and today I want to answer all of them and say that the people of Kashmir have as much right over the country as I do,’’ Shah said, adding that if the internet had not been shut down and curfew not imposed, then who would have died in the situation that would have arisen by inciting the sentiments of the youth.

The answer is that the youth of Kashmir would have been killed, he said, adding “we did not want anyone to fire at the youth of Kashmir’’. “The three families have ruled here for 70 years and whether these people want to understand or not, we understand how big the burden of a funeral of a young son is for an aged father,’’ he said.

Pointing out that 40,000 people were killed in the Valley when they were in power, Home Minister said that till date there is no condemnation of terrorism and terror. They say it is not good if someone is killed, but they do not condemn the one who killed, he said, adding “I have come here to make it clear to you that we will not allow them to be killed, we will not allow them to disturb peace, and peace and harmony will prevail here’’.

He also referred to many people raising questions that after the abrogation of Article 370, the land of Kashmiris in the Valley will be snatched. “You ask in your village how much land has been lost in two years. These people spread lies, it is not true. If you visit your village, then tell them that the land has not been taken away in my village. These people want to keep development divided, they want to save their power, they want to continue corruption that they have been indulging in for the past 70 years,’’ he added.

He said that the Lieutenant Governor has given jobs to more than 20,000 people and I can claim that neither a single recommendation was made nor a single person had to pay money. The era of giving jobs to people close to you is now over. Those who have talent, who have ability, who want to devote their youth for the development of Kashmir, are getting jobs.  It is causing pain to them that people are getting jobs without their recommendation, and they are wondering how is this happening. I want to say that this will happen and now the corrupt practices of these three families will not work.

Amit Shah said Sufism had come to India from Central Asia and Iran via Kashmir, and Kashmir had presented Sufism to the whole of India. I have come to meet Sufi saints and hope has arisen in my mind that there can be peace forever in Jammu and Kashmir.