Modi says cross-border terrorism at root of unrest in Jammu & Kashmir

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, August 12, 2016

Modi says Pakistan must answer on atrocities in Balochistan, POK: Rajnath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed that the root cause of unrest in Jammu & Kashmir was cross-border terrorism, aided and abetted by Pakistan, and called upon all political parties and citizens to respond to terrorism as one.
Speaking at an all-party meeting on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Modi said his Government was committed to finding a permanent and peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue on the basis of the basic principles of the Constitution.
"We have an open mind and our doors are always open. We are committed to the welfare of every citizen in all of Jammu and Kashmir. To find a solution, we will follow the path shown by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," he said.
Mr. Modi said terrorism had affected normal life in the state and gave details of the operations carried out by security forces since the problem began way back in 1989-90. He said more than 5000 foreign terrorists had been killed in this period.
Security forces had, over these years, recovered more than  34,000 AF-47 rifles, more than 5,000 grenade launchers, more than 90 light machine guns, more than 12,000 pistols and revolvers, three anti-tank and four anti-aircraf guns, more than 350 missile launchers, more than 63,000 kgs of explosives, including RDX, and more than one lakh grenades.
"Pakistan can tell a lakh lies, but the world will never believe its false propaganda," he said.
He said Pakistan forgets that it carries out air strikes against its own people. "The time has come for Pakistan to answer questions about atrocities committed by it in Balochistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK)," he said.
Mr. Modi expressed happiness that all political parties had spoken out in one voice against terrorism at today's meeting.
"When we talk about Jammu & Kashmir, we must talk about the four regions of the state, Jammu, Kashmir valley, Ladakh and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK)," he said.
He said the country's unity and integrity, nurtured by democracy, is the country's biggest strength. "We may differ on some issues, but when it comes to a question of the country's integrity and sovereignty, we are all united," he said.
"Like all Indians, I have been deeply saddened by the recent events in Jammu & Kashmir. It makes me extremely sad that children are not able to study, apples are not reaching the markets, traders are not able to earn their daily income and government offices are not able to work for the people. It is the poor who are the worst affected in such situations," he said.
"As political workers, our existence itself is for the people. They are our strength, the source of our energy. People's strength is an important part of our public life. If there is any loss of life, whether of civilians or security personnel, we all become sad. I have full sympathies for their families. We are committed to providing the best medical care for the injured. We want to establish peace in the valley at the earliest so that people can live their normal lives, earn their living, educate their children and sleep peacefully in the night," he said.
Mr. Modi said Jammu & Kashmir, often called the crown of India, symbolised harmony among all communities, a place where Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims have been living together for centuries. "The state represents the faith of our founding fathers in India's unity in diversity. It is not merely a symbol of our integrity, but defines our nationhood," he said.
The Prime Minister said the security forces have had to face planned attacks and bear all kinds of injuries but they have exercised restraint at all times.
"Despite the propaganda by some elements, those who try to  spread disinformation and violence in the state and incite children form a very small percentage of the population. All Kashmiris want peace and have faith in democracy. That is why in elections after elections, despite the threats from separatists, people have turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise and participate in the festival of democracy.
"Some restrictions were placed in some areas to maintain law and order. The fact is that the common man did not suffer so much because of these restrictions as they do from the regular calls for strike by the separatist organisations.
"During this period, the Amarnath Yatra has been conducted successfully. There is a special programme on solar energy in Ladakh. The NEET, CET and UPSC examinations were held in the state without any disturbance. All essential items were made available to the people in all areas," he said.
Mr. Modi said at a time when the tourism season is approaching, as is the time for harvesting of apples, which are important in the livelihood of ordinary people of the state, some separatist elements are trying to take advantage of the situation and disturb peace in the state.
"We are fully committed to the basic rights of the people. Very few countries have laws as humane as ours in the fight against terrorism. Our governments and our security forces have shown extreme restraint in responding to such incidents," he said.
Mr. Modi said India would combat terrorism with full force and determination. "That is our national duty. India is committed to the rule of law, it would be a mistake for forces inimical to us to regard it as a sign of our weakness. We are resolved to eliminate terrorism. For us, both means and ends are important," he said.
"It is also a fact that Kashmiri Pandits have been displaced from the valley. This is the handiwork of terrorists trained, armed and encouraged by Pakistan and their supporters. This is not the handiwork of people who believe in 'Kashmiriyat'," he said.
Mr. Modi said the Centre had recently finalised a Rs. 80,000 crore package for the all-round development of Jammu & Kashmir. The package provides for not just roads and electricity projects, but for the comprehensive development of every region of Jammu and Kashmir. It provides for education of children, jobs for youth, modern healthcare facilities, development of tourism infrastructure, and development of the horticultural sector, he said.
He said the Government had decided to recruit 10,000 special police officers (SPOs), 1200 paramilitary personnel and about 4000 personnel in five India Reserve (IR) batallions. About 1,25,000 unemployed people will be provided skill training.
He said the PDP-BJP government headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was working to solve the problems of the state. He said the state government had managed to handle the difficult situation in recent weeks and the entire country stood with it in this effort.
He said the Centre and the state government were committed to solving all the legitimate grievances of the people and establish peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorist and anti-national forces will be dealt with, but all genuine complaints of any individual would be heard and problems solved, he said.
"I want to reiterate once more that all political parties and citizens would have to respond as one to terrorism. At a time when terrorism is spreading to the entire world, when our neighbour supports terrorists, we have to be united in this fight. The Government hopes that all political parties will cooperate constructively with it in this matter. They should put aside their political differences and help to restore peace and prosperity in the state.
"I am confident that with the effort of the state government and your cooperation we will be able to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir soon. It is the responsibility of the state government to maintain law and order and there will be no compromise with terrorists," he said.
He said efforts would be made to involve the youth of the state in the economic development of the state.
Mr. Modi said governments of states where people from Jammu & Kashmir, whether Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists or belonging to any other religion, should establish contact with them and help them stay in touch with their relatives in Jammu & Kashmir and inform them of the progress being registered in other parts of India.
He said the Ministry of External Affairs should establish contact with people from POK living in other countries and find out about the "pathetic conditions" of people in POK and present the facts in this regard before the world community.