Press Trust of india

Our fight is for Kashmir not against Kashmiris: Modi

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Tonk (Rajasthan), Feb 23: Asserting that the fight is “against terrorists and not Kashmiris”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday vowed the Pulwama attack perpetrators would have to pay as he appealed to people to have faith in armed forces, his government and blessings of Maa Bhavani.

Addressing a BJP rally here, Modi said: “We have given full freedom to our army. The overwhelming sentiment in the social media is of ‘veer ras’ (bravery and heroism), but our fight is against terrorism, against the enemies of humanity. Our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmir and not against Kashmiris,” Modi said.

“Kashmiri youths are also troubled by terrorists. They are also ready to come with us to fight against them. We need to keep them with us. Kashmiri people take care of Amarnath pilgrims. One year ago, there was firing on Amarnath pilgrims and Kashmiri Muslim people had lined up for donating blood and to protect lives,” he said.

“If we want to win the fight, we should not make mistakes. A terrorist is a terrorist and Kashmiri people are also facing trouble due to terrorism. Previous governments sowed such seeds but this government of India will fulfill the dreams of Kashmiris,” he said.

Narrating his conversation with panches and sarpanches of Kashmir Valley, Modi said he had sought a promise from them that they would not let any school building to be set afire by “terrorists”, and not a single school building was torched since.

Modi said peace in the world is not possible if the “factory of terrorism” continues like this.

“There is consensus in the entire world against terrorism. We are moving ahead with strength to punish the perpetrators of terrorism,” he said, referring to the February 14 suicide attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.

“Stern action against those who live in India and push separatism has been taken and will be taken. This is a changed India, this pain will not be tolerated. We will not sit quiet after suffering this pain. We know how to crush terrorism. This is an India of new policies,” he said.

Recalling his conversation with Imran Khan during a congratulatory call after the cricketer-turned-politician became Pakistan’s premier, Modi said, “People know him as a cricketer. I told him there has been enough of fights between India and Pakistan. Pakistan got nothing, every fight we have won. I told him let us fight against poverty and illiteracy. He told me, ‘Modiji, I am the son of Pathan. I speak trueth.’ Today, it is the time he stands true to his words. I will see whether he stands true to his words or not.”

The prime minister said that most of the countries and large global organisations are united against the Pulwama attack.

He said that “Indian soldiers sent one main perpetrator of the Pulwama terror attack to the place he deserved” and asked people to keep faith on soldiers guarding boarders, his government and the blessings of Maa Bhavani, the Hindu goddess of power and justice.

He said the government took decisions after Pulwama attack that created ripples in Pakistan.

NC welcomes Modi’s statement

Srinagar, Feb 23: NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah Saturday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement denouncing attacks on Kashmiris in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

“The statement will go a long way in pacifying people of the country. Although it took him too long to come out against the unwarranted and targeted violence being orchestrated against Kashmiris putting up across the country, however, we welcome the statement and expect corrective measures will be taken in this regard,” Farooq Abdullah said in a statement issued here.

The MP from Srinagar, however, said the prime minister must ensure that his directions are followed in letter and spirit.

“Words are not enough. The prime minister has to ensure that his directions of not targeting Kashmiris are followed in letter and spirit on the ground as well,” the NC president said.

NC’s vice-president Omar Abdullah said it was perhaps for the first time that a “full-throated” statement against targeting Kashmiris came from the BJP.

“Now that it has come from the prime minister, we welcome it with a hope that it will help calm the situation across the country,” he said.

Omar Abdullah said Modi must take note of the “anti-Kashmir statements” coming from those who were holding constitutional positions and reprimand them in the greater good of the country.

Earlier, in a tweet, he thanked the prime minister for breaking his silence on attacks against Kashmiris and expressed hope that such incidents would not recur.

“Thank you @narendramodi Sahib. Aaj aap ne hamaray dil ki baat keh di (you have conveyed the feelings of our heart),” Omar Abdullah tweeted.

“It’s been a more than a week since the terrible attack in Pulwama & more than a week that Kashmiris have been bearing the brunt of the public anger. Perhaps finally after PM @narendramodi Sb has spoken these forces targeting Kashmiris will stop in their tracks,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.

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