No leniency towards separatists, terrorists in J&K, says Modi

‘Violence down, tourism, development get boost’
Army most disciplined force, Cong defaming it
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that no leniency will be shown towards Kashmiri separatists and terrorists and maintained that incidents of violence have gone down considerably in the Valley, where developmental works and sports activities have got a major boost and tourism has picked up.
Charging Congress with trying to defame security forces by calling for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Modi strongly defended the armed forces saying the Indian troops deployed in various countries as part of United Nations peacekeeping mission were doing commendable job and there has been not even a single complaint against them in any part of the world.
In an interview to a national news channel today, the Prime Minister spoke at length on Jammu and Kashmir including militancy, separatists, development, AFSPA, all-iance with People’s Democra-tic Party (PDP), future alliance in the State besides relations with Pakistan saying the Central Government has put Jammu and Kashmir back on the path of development after snapping ties with the PDP.
Keeping tough stand on separatists and militants, Modi said there can be no leniency with the separatists as such an approach wasn’t in the interest of the country.
“Separatism and terrorism will be crushed. We have already brought down incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir to quite an extent. Violence is now confined to just two and half districts of the Valley while rest of the State is normal,” he said.
He added: “As militancy has come down, development has picked up in Jammu and Kashmir. Electricity has reached every house of the State. Toilets have been constructed for entire population. Exports have increased. Agriculture is flourishing. Khadi has revived. Tourism has started picking up. Be it Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji pilgrimage or Shri Amarnath Ji yatra, people in large numbers are visiting. There were encouraging results in sports activities. Recently, Jammu and Kashmir team has defeated all-powerful Bengal team in football”.
Invoking late BJP stalwart, Atal Behari Vajpayee’s formula of ‘Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat’ on Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the Government has been following this approach and will continue to do so.
Describing Congress announcement in election manifesto to dilute AFSPA as “very serious issue”, the Prime Minister said they too want that there should be no AFSPA but for that there should be conducive situation.
“There has been Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Separatists are speaking language of Pakistan. At this stage, we can’t demoralize our security forces by talking of AFSPA dilution. The Congress manifesto and approach will support `Tukde Gang,” he said and asked: “if sedition law is scrapped, what action will be taken against those burning the tricolor…those breaking statues of Baba Saheb Ambedkar or indulging in similar activities?”.
Asserting that Indian Army is very disciplined force, the Prime Minister pointed out that the troops have been part of many Peace Keeping missions of the United Nations in different parts of the world including many poor countries and there has not been even a single complaint against them by any nation. “We should be proud of discipline and hard work of our Army. Instead, the Congress has attempted to defame and demoralize the troops with its provisions listed in the manifesto”.
Responding to a question on BJP’s alliance with the PDP in 2015, Modi said the alliance was struck with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was a matured politician and understood the things.
“It was like a ‘Milavat Wali Sarkaar’. No other Government was possible in view of the mandate of Assembly elections. We waited for three months. We never claimed majority. Had National Conference then formed Government with the PDP, we would have taken the role of opposition. In the interest of Jammu and Kashmir, we tried to do good work and form the Government. But then Mufti Sayeed passed away and Mehbooba Mufti had different kind of approach,” Modi said, adding the differences surfaced between the two parties when the BJP insisted on conducting Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State to give powers of development at grass-root level and ensure direct funding to the Panchayat and Municipalities.
The Prime Minister said they (the PDP) didn’t want the elections and tried to create an impression that there will be large-scale violence by the militants in elections to Panchayats and Municipalities.
“We then decided to part ways and conducted elections to Panchayats and Municipalities. There was 70 to 75 percent voting turnout of the elections without any violence. Today, thousands of Sarpanchs and Panchs are working in the State and getting massive funding directly from the Centre,” he said.
Asked whether there will be any alliance with PDP or NC in future, the Prime Minister said the question with ifs and butts cannot be debated in media.
Pointing out that he has toured every block of Jammu and Kashmir in buses when the terrorism was at its peak in the State as party leader to strengthen the organization, Modi said the Government has been giving equal attention to all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Asked what Pakistan should do for talks with India, the Prime Minister said they should just stop exporting terrorists and everything will be fine.
Taking a jibe at internal contradictions between Pakistan Government and security establishments, Modi said: “We don’t know who runs the affairs in Pakistan-the Government, Army, Inter-Services Intelligence or those sitting in the foreign countries”.
He said his task is to defend the Indian interests and what Imran Khan (the Pakistan Minister) does that should be left to Pakistan.
On Opposition seeking proof of air strikes at Balakote, the Prime Minister said the biggest proof was given by Pakistan herself.
“We carried out the strike and waited for response. It was Pakistan, which first issued statement on Indian strike at Balakote. However, our action was neither against Pakistan military nor civilians but against the terrorists. Now, the problem with Pakistan is that if they accept the Indian air strike at terror camp, they will have to admit that there were militants, which will expose them,” he said, adding what was surprising was that some of our political parties also started speaking the language of Pakistan.


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