‘Cong lost opportunity in 1971 to resolve Kashmir’
JAMMU, Apr 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for combination of “hitting touch” and “healing touch” for Jammu and Kashmir to solve the problem and said his Government follows the principles of Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir including ‘Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat’.
Modi said Congress has lost major opportunity to resolve Kashmir problem in 1971 war when 90,000 soldiers of Pakistan army had surrendered after the Indo-Pak war.
In series of tweets, interview to a news channel and addressing election rallies at various places, Modi declared that terrorists and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir can only be dealt with a “hitting touch” while the “healing touch” should be reserved for the civilians of the State.
The word “healing touch” was coined by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after taking over as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in November 2002.
Modi, however, said while “healing touch” has been reserved for civilians of Jammu and Kash-mir, the terrorists will be dealt with “hitting touch”, an indication towards continuance of hard approach towards the militants and separatists in the Kashmir valley, which has been adopted by the Central Government including arrests of the separatists, ban on ‘Jammat-e-Islami’ and ‘Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front’ and ‘Operation All Out’ against the militants.
Reiterating NDA’s zero tolerance for terror, Modi took on those, who have been advocating soft approach towards separatists.
On Congress manifesto promising to dilute the provisions of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) to reduce the alienation of the people in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said that terrorists and separatists can only be dealt with a ‘hitting touch’.
“We follow the principles of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji on Jammu and Kashmir i.e. ‘Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat (Humanity, Democracy and Kashmiriyat). We are treading this path. We and the country are ready for extra healing touch for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh but there can only be hitting touch for terrorists. We will have to make a clear demarcation that healing touch is for the citizens and hitting touch for the terrorists”, Modi said.
He added that extra healing touch is for the policemen who are dying in Kashmir, the Army jawans who come home for weddings in their families and are being killed – they need a healing touch.
“There are children who are making the country proud in sports competitions, they need a healing touch. They need an extra healing touch. I am willing to walk that mile to provide them with that but there will be no healing touch to separatists and terrorists. I will not let them be given that treatment and will only give them hitting touch,” Modi declared.
Attacking the erstwhile UPA Government, the Prime Minister said: “Congress Government missed opportunity to resolve Kashmir issue in 1971 by releasing 90000 Pakistani soldiers, who surrendered after Indo-Pak war.
Modi said then Congress Government signed Shimla agreement (in 1972) “under global pressure” and released over 90,000 Prisoners of War (PoW) instead of resolving the Kashmir dispute “in lieu of the PoW.”
“Pak troops were in our custody. A big area of Pakistan was also captured by Indian forces during 1971 war but the Congress Government lost it on table in Shimla agreement and they were released,” he said.
“The Government crumbled under global pressure and signed the Shimla agreement and the matter was closed. PoW and the capture land were released. That was a golden opportunity to resolve the Kashmir dispute in lieu of the PoW,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that it was a trump card in the hands of the Government but the chance was missed and the entire country is facing its result today.
Modi said it was the reason why Congress leaders do not want nationalism to be an issue.
The statement from Modi came after Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot in his recent election rallies highlighted that a new nation (Bangladesh) was created by dividing Pakistan by Indian armed forces during the rule of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1971.
Giving a peek into his Government’s strong and powerful reply to its enemies, he questioned the crowd gathered, if his Government would have done the same?
Speaking of India’s supposed new found ‘no tolerance towards terrorism’ policy, Modi illustrated how Pakistan has long been trying to flex its muscles by referring of its nuclear arsenal.
“India has stopped paying heed to Pakistan’s empty threats… at any given point, they would say “we have nuclear weapons” and even the Indian media would flash it. I want to ask them, if they have nuclear weapons, so do we. What do you think we have it for… Diwali?”, he asked.
Modi said he had warned Pakistan of consequences if it did not return Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. He asserted his Government’s commitment towards national security and said whether the Prime Minister’s chair remains or not, he has decided that either he will be alive or the terrorists.
He said after Abhinandan was caught, opposition started seeking a reply from him. “We held a press conference and warned Pakistan that if anything happened to our pilot, you will keep telling the world what Modi did to you.” “A senior American official said on the second day that Modi has kept 12 missiles ready and might attack and the situation will deteriorate. Pakistan announced return of the pilot, or else it was going to be a “qatal ki raat’,” he said.
“This was said by America, I have nothing to say about this now, I will speak about it when the time will come,” he said. “The (PM’s) chair remains or goes, I have decided that either I be alive or terrorists will remain alive,” he said. He said the air strike at terror camps in Pakistan was something people expected from him. “When Pulwama happened, what did the country expect Modi to do? Would you, would the country have pardoned me had I done what the Manmohan Singh Government did after 26/11?, he asked.
The country wanted something to be done, he said, adding that he had announced giving a free hand to the military. “They (Pakistan) made tight arrangements, but being the disciple of Lord Hanuman, our people conducted air strike and their story was over,” he said. Accusing the Congress of questioning the bravery of India’s military force and doubting its action, he said, “Does any Congress leader ask for air strike proof? They have got the message to stop asking because people are getting angry. After the first and second phases of polls, they have forgotten to ask.”