Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that for peace he will talk to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and not to Pakistan.
Addressing a youth rally at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Amit Shah lashed out at former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
“Dr. Farooq Sahib has suggested that we should talk to Pakistan. Let me clarify, if we will talk, we will talk to people of Jammu and Kashmir and its youth only, no one else.
“Today, I am speaking my heart. I was posed a series of questions. Today, I am speaking without a bullet proof shield,” Shah told the gathering wearing a traditional Kashmiri tweed over-garment called ‘Pheran’.
He said no one will be allowed to disrupt the development and peace journey of the Valley.
“Why Dr. Farooq and Mehbooba failed to do what BJP did in just two years.
“I am often asked by some people why curfew was imposed in Kashmir and why the Internet was snapped. Let me answer today.
“This was done to protect and save the lives of our youth. We didn’t want vested interests and anti-peace elements to exploit the situation and push our youth on roads to face bullets.
“This step was taken to save the lives of Kashmiri youth.”
He said so far 40,000 people, including security forces personnel, militants and civilians in J&K have been killed in violence.
“It is time to come out of this bloodshed and march towards a new journey of peace, development and prosperity. I promise, J&K will get what it deserves by 2024,” he said.
Lashing out at the NC and PDP, Shah said that the leaders of these two parties never condemned those who killed civilians.
“Time has gone when militants would exploit the situation. No one will be allowed to kill civilians and we assure you that peace will remain intact in J&K,” he said.
Shah said there was a rumour mongering in J&K post-Article 370 abrogation that land and jobs of people would be snatched.
“Give me one example of any village where land of any villager has been snatched.
“Under the leadership of J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, 20,000 jobs have been provided and 6,000 more are in offing.”
He, however, said that unlike previous regimes, especially two families who ruled for 70 years, jobs will now be given to only those who deserve these.
“Time is over when people of J&K would have to pay money for jobs. Nepotism and corruption is over,” he said.
Shah said the NC and PDP should answer why youth were deprived of becoming Sarpanches and Panches in their regimes.
“There was a chief minister who would leave people suffering and spend six months in London every year.
“Now we have young sarpanches, panches and other representatives, who can become MPs, MLAs and also the chief minister.
“J&K will have a chief minister who will stay with the people in districts.”
He said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, medical colleges, AIIMS, IITs and other institutions were given to J&K.
“We have 30,000 Panchayat representatives in J&K. There is hardly any house where there isn’t a cooking gas connection.
“Tap water is available to everyone. Electricity is available to every poor family and health cover of Rs 5 lakh is available for one and all across Kashmir. Why Dr. Farooq and Mehbooba couldn’t do it in 70 years.”
He said militancy is on the decline in J&K and efforts to replace guns with pens have borne fruit.
“These parties would demand to talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat. This way, they choked Kashmir’s economy only to enjoy power.
“Today, we have succeeded in replacing guns with pens even in the militancy hotbed of Pulwama district besides other districts of Kashmir,” he asserted.