No One Benefitted From Bloodshed; Choice Is Between Tourism & Terrorism: PM Modi To Kashmiri Youth
Asserting that "40 years of bloodshed" had not benefitted anyone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sent out a message to the misguided youth of Kashmir, asking them to choose tourism over terrorism so that the state could achieve new heights of progress
Photo Credit : PTI,
Asserting that "40 years of bloodshed" had not benefitted anyone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (April 02) sent out a message to the misguided youth of Kashmir, asking them to choose tourism over terrorism so that the state could achieve new heights of progress.
He again invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's slogan of 'Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat (Kashmirism, democracy and humanity)' and said it will be the "prime motto" in moving ahead "with harmony, with brotherhood, with strong will and determination for the brighter future of the youth" and "no obstacle can stop us".
Modi, who was on a brief visit here to inaugurate the country's longest road tunnel between Kashmir and Jammu, used the occasion to tell the stone-pelters of the valley that stones can be used for better purposes -- building infrastructure.
Addressing a rally here after inaugurating the 9-km-long 'Chenani-Nashri' tunnel, he told the Kashmiri youth that if they ignore the "invaluable tradition of sufi culture", they would "lose the present and put your future into darkness".
In a veiled manner, the Prime Minister also hit out at the rulers of Pakistan who are eyeing Kashmir, saying "they can't even take care of themselves".
He said his government was committed to ensure fast-paced development of Jammu and Kashmir, which would also tell the people living under "occupation" in the other parts of the state (PoK) how they are being destroyed.
At the event attended by Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and some union and state ministers, Modi promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the development of Jammu and Kashmir and sought the cooperation of the people in this regard.
"I want to tell the misguided youth of Kashmir valley, realise the power of a stone. On one hand, there are some misguided youth who pelt stones, on the other hand, there are youth from the same Kashmir who carve stones to build infrastructure," he said.
The message was clearly for the youth who indulge in stone-pelting in the Kashmir valley, a trend that is growing.
"I want to tell the Kashmiri youth, there are two paths in front of you which can determine your future -- one is tourism, the other is terrorism," he said.
"Over last 40 years, there has been lot of bloodshed. My own Valley has been blood-soaked, my Kashmir's beloved youth, my Hindustan's beloved youth. Nobody has benefitted from this bloodshed," the Prime Minister emphasised.
He said if the people of Kashmir had devoted the same 40 years to development of tourism, the valley would have been blessed with tourism of world class.
Describing as "fate line" the all-weather tunnel which will reduce the journey time from 2 hours to 10 minutes, he said nine such projects are planned for the state as part of infrastructure development.
"Yeh sirf infrastructure network nahi, yeh dilon ko jodne wala network hai (This is a network, not only of infrastructure, but to connect the hearts)," he said amid chants of "Modi, Modi'.
He praised Mehbooba, saying more than half of the Rs 80,000 crore central package announced over a year ago had already been spent by her government in a short span of time.
Speaking before Modi, Mehbooba asked the Prime Minister to give hope to the Kashmiri youth about creating 'New Jammu and Kashmir' since he is a "courageous" leader who does whatever he decides.
She thanked Modi for supporting her solidly last year when the state was "crossing a river of fire", a reference to the five-month-long unrest in Kashmir.
Referring to the 'Chenani-Nashri' tunnel, she said, "it will not only reduce the physical distance, but also connect the hearts and bring the Valley closer to rest of the country."