Home Minister Amit Shah said today that the Centre will not hold talks with the “Hurriyat, Jamiat or Pakistan” and speak with the youth of Jammu and Kashmir instead.
Speaking during the no-confidence debate in Lok Sabha, Mr Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken an “epoch-making decision” to bring about a change in Kashmir.
“Article 370 was a mistake by the Jawaharlal Nehru government. It was abrogated by this parliament on August 5 and 6, 2019. With that, two flags and two constitutions were gone from Kashmir and PM Modi ensured its complete integration into the country,” Mr Shah said.
“An NGO inspired by them (Congress) held a meeting recently and released a report stating that the Centre should hold talks with the Hurriyat, Jamiat and Pakistan. We will not speak to the Hurriyat, Jamiat or Pakistan. If we hold discussions, we will hold them with the youth of the Valley. They are our own and we will talk to them,” the home minister added.
On the steps taken in Kashmir, Mr Shah said the Centre had imposed restrictions on the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and the Jamaat-e-Islami in Kashmir, and removed terrorist sympathisers from jobs. He said funeral processions are no longer taken out for terrorists and they are buried where they are killed.
The home minister said that the Lakhanpur toll tax in Kashmir, where party ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee had been arrested in 1953 and which was “a thorn in the hearts of crores of BJP workers”, has been done away with.
“There was no reservation for Dalits, tribals and people from the backward classes (in Kashmir). The work of getting them reservation was done by the Narendra Modi government. There were cleaning workers who had been living in Kashmir for seven generations, since the Mughal era, but were not getting domicile certificates. Hindus from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir were not getting domicile. PM Modi ensured that all of them got domicile certificates,” Mr Shah said.
Hitting out at parties “that call themselves democratic”, Mr Shah said three families had ruled over Kashmir – Muftis, Abdullahs and Gandhis – but did not get panchayat polls conducted. PN Modi got them held in November-December 2018, he said.
The minister claimed that between the last nine years of the UPA rule and the nine years of the Modi government, there has been a 68% decrease in terrorist incidents, 72% fall in deaths of civilian and security forces personnel combined, 82% reduction in civilian deaths and a 56% fall in the deaths of security personnel. Mr Shah added that no one now has the courage to indulge in stone-throwing.
The home minister also spoke about the development of tourism in the state since the abrogation of Article 370, as well as the reopening of theatres.
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