As PM reaches out to Kashmiris, Mehbooba says Modi is Valley’s only hope for peace


In a fresh bid to reach out to people of the valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said “Ekta” (unity) and “Mamata” (love) are the basic mantras for addressing Kashmir problem even as he slammed those pushing “innocent” children to violence, saying they will have to answer them some day. On the other hand, Mehbooba Mufti said the approach adopted by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the only way to resolve the Kashmir dispute, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday claimed that if the dispute was not resolved under Prime Minister Narendra Modi it will never be resolved.

“There is no other option but only the Vajpayee doctrine. We will have to follow it and they (Pakistan) too will have to follow it, if we have to bring Jammu and Kashmir out of this mess and this cycle of violence, this is the only option,” she said while speaking at a function in New Delhi this evening.

PM Modi reaches out to Kashmiris

Seeking to strike a chord with the people of Kashmir, Modi said if any life is lost in the valley, whether of any youth or any securityman, “that loss is ours, of our own, of our own country”.

Speaking on the unrest in the valley in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi said, “From the interactions I had with all parties on Kashmir, one thing emerged from those, which can be put in simple words as ‘Ekta’ and ‘Mamata’. These two things were the basic mantra.” He said all the political parties had spoken in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a “message to the world as well as separatist forces” besides conveying “our sentiments to the people of Kashmir”.

He equated it to the passage of landmark GST Bill by Parliament for which all the parties came together, saying it showed that big tasks can be achieved by walking jointly.

“It is the view of all of us, the view of 125 crore people from a pradhan of a village to the Prime Minister, that if any life is lost in Kashmir, whether of any youth or any securityman, that loss is ours, our own country,” Modi said. At the same time, he slammed “those people who push small children to try to create unrest in Kashmir”, saying “some day, they will have to give answers to these innocent children”.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief MInister Mehbooba Mufti met him and presented a “three-pronged action plan” that includes dialogue with all stakeholders.

“This country is very big, full of diversities. To keep it united, it is the responsibility of all of us, as individual citizens, as a society and as a government, to strengthen the unity as much as we can, highlight it as much as we can. Only then can the nation achieve its bright future.

I have confidence in the power of 125 crore people of the country,” he said in the 23rd edition of his programme.

Only Modi can solve the problem: Mehbooba

Mehbooba claimed that it was the only opportunity which the people have to resolve the dispute and if it was not resolved under Modi, it won’t be resolved ever. “I said this yesterday also that if during the Modi period, if our country and Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir people won’t resolve the issue then this issue will never be resolved. You don’t get such a powerful leader everyday who can take decision,” she said.

She said that her government had hardly completed three months, when the ongoing cycle of violence in Kashmir started after the killing of Burhan Wani. “What was the fault of our government that only within three months there was an encounter and such a situation was created and so much of bloodshed and violence started,” she said. She said that rumours were spread against her government on one pretext or the other, but made it clear that the state has a special place in the heart of the India and nobody is going to do anything with that special place.

She said the parents of the children who were either killed or injured should be asked what type of ‘Azaadi’ (freedom) they were looking after. “I don’t know what people call Azaadi, if Azaadi has to be achieved in such a way where small children lose their vision, their parents must be asked whether they are ready to give such a sacrifice for such an elusive Azaadi,” she said.

She said that when there is violence all the freedom is lost.

The Chief Minister said today the situation in Kashmir was such that the shopkeepers were not able to open their shops and the employees were not able to attend the office and they were not afraid of the police or security forces, but were afraid of the small kids who were “attacking” them. “A ten-year-old kid who does not know what politics is, what Kashmir issue is, what forces are playing behind him, is being used to target security force camps and police stations,” she said.