TONK (RAJASTHAN), Feb 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday deplored incidents of harassment of Kashmiris outside Jammu & Kashmir after the Pulwama attack and said India’s fight is not against Kashmir or its residents but militants and enemies of humanity.
Addressing concerns over Kashmiris, particularly students, being threatened and, in some cases, assaulted, the PM said the issue is not the scale of such incidents but that they had occurred at all. “Incidents were reported and the issue is not what happened and on what scale but that it should not have happened. Children of Kashmir are also suffering because of these militants and they are standing in our support to eliminate terrorists and we need their support,” Modi said at a rally.
Modi also referred to a conversation he had with Pakistan PM Imran Khan to say the onus of taking action against terrorist organisations lies with Islamabad. He said he had urged Khan that India and Pakistan wage war against poverty and illiteracy and the leader promised that as a Pathan, he believed in truthfulness. “Today is the time to see if he lives by his words or not,” said the PM. Though he said he wants to see if Khan acted on his words, Modi made it clear that he was intent on action.
“Is baar sabka hisab hoga (Perpetrators will be held to account),” Modi said. “Peace can’t be restored until these factories of terrorism are shut. If it is the case that I was destined to seal such factories of terrorism, then it will certainly happen.” On the harassment of Kashmiris, he said such actions play into the hands of secessionists.
Speaking out against incidents of harassment of Kashmiris in the wake of the Pulwama attack, PM Modi, addressing a rally, said: “The way Indian soldiers have laid down their lives, sons of the Kashmiri soil have also fallen victim to the bullets of terrorists but for a handful who offer blessings to tukde, tukde gangs. No citizen of this country will encourage people who shout slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge, insha Allah’.”
The PM reminded the crowd that Kashmiris have welcomed Amarnath pilgrims and had queued up to donate blood when an attack took place on the yatris. “The safety of each Kashmiri settled anywhere in the country is the responsibility of every Indian and I exhort people here to raise their hands and promise to ensure the safety of Kashmiris,” he said.
On his interaction with Khan, he said, “I had told him on the phone that India and Pakistan have fought several battles and that Pakistan gained nothing as we won all the battles and this will continue in future too… He had promised that he is a Pathan and believes in truthfulness. Today is the time to see if he lives by his words or not.”
The PM said over 200 former panchayat representatives had met him after the panchayat polls in J&K and had urged them to stop incidents of burning schools. “Today I can proudly say they have resisted militants and no incident or school burning has been reported since then.”
“I request certain people not to support militants even by mistake. People of Kashmir want to get rid of militancy but their dreams remain unfulfilled due to the policies of previous governments,” he said.