Modi government will ensure J&K is most developed: Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the government will ensure Jammu and Kashmir becomes the most developed province in India. Shah was addressing the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. On former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's suggestion on initiating India-Pakistan talks, Shah said he will only speak to the people of J&K.
Why does it matter?
- Monday marked the third day of Shah's J&K visit, which he has reportedly decided to extend.
- This was the Home Minister's first visit since the erstwhile state's special status was repealed and it was bifurcated into two federally-run union territories.
- Shah defended the controversial move, even as human rights abuses in J&K have been criticized internationally.
'Will speak frankly,' Shah removes bulletproof shield
At Monday's event, Shah had his bulletproof glass shield removed, saying he wanted to speak "frankly." On Abdullah's suggestion of Indo-Pakistan talks, Shah said, "If there have to be talks, I will hold them with the people of my valley (Kashmir) and the youth of the valley." Those advocating for talks with Pakistan and separatists should see how underdeveloped Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is, he said.
Shah defends internet shutdowns, curfews
Shah said the revocation of J&K's special status put the UT on the path of development. "You will see the fruits of our efforts by 2024," he said. He said the controversial prolonged internet curbs and curfew were required to prevent misinformation, else more Kashmiri blood would have been spilled. He said 40,000 have been killed in violence in J&K and it should stop.
Shah blames '3 families' for failing J&K
Shah also criticized "three families" who ruled J&K, in an apparent reference to the Indian National Congress, the National Conference, and the Peoples' Democratic Party. He blamed the three for the developmental failure of J&K. He said the Modi government has secured investments of Rs. 7,000 crore in Jammu and Rs. 6,000 crore in Kashmir within six months of a new industrial policy.
Nobody can stop J&K's development: Shah
"Nobody will be able to create a hurdle and disrupt peace and development," Shah said, adding that J&K will be made India's most developed province. He projected Rs. 51,000 crore in investments by 2022 end. He inaugurated a hospital at Bemina and laid the foundation stone for the Handwara Medical College. He said, "Nobody will need to go to Pakistan to study medicine."
Civilian killings, terror incidents on rise
Shah's visit came amid increased civilian killings by terrorists in J&K. Terrorists killed 11 civilians in J&K in October alone. Shah also held a security review meeting on Sunday where civilian killings, increasing radicalization, and prolonged encounters with terrorists were discussed. A Home Ministry official reportedly said minorities and outsiders are not safe in J&K and a "strategy" on the same was discussed.
Shah extends visit to honor Pulwama martyrs
Shah reportedly decided to extend his three-day visit to J&K. Sources told IANS that Shah will spend the night with CRPF troopers at the Lethpora martyr memorial in Pulwama. The memorial pays tribute to the 42 troopers killed in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.