Tribune News Service
New Delhi, 25 October
Hitting out at National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah for suggesting holding India-Pakistan talks, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said he would hold talks with the people and youth of the Valley if needed.
Shah said, “Today I want to talk to you openly, so there is no bulletproof shield or security here… Farooq sahab has suggested that I should talk to Pakistan but I will talk to the youth and people of the Valley. ” Addressing a public meeting on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar. On reaching the venue, Shah had asked the personnel to remove the bulletproof shield from the stage. “Why shouldn’t I talk to you? We want to talk to you, so I extended a hand of friendship to the youth of the valley.
The Home Minister is on his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Before addressing the gathering, Shah inaugurated a 500-bed hospital at Bemina (completed at a cost of Rs 115 crore), Handwara Medical College, a Rs 46 crore girder bridge and a road over Firozpur drain in Baramulla district. 4,000 crore projects.
“Compare the development between this side and PoK. Do they have electricity, roads, healthcare and toilets? There is nothing (on the other side). You (Kashmiris) have the same rights as other Indians.
Without naming the Congress, the National Conference or the People’s Democratic Party, he said that only three medical colleges were established by “the three families that ruled Jammu and Kashmir”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured seven new medical colleges, which were coming.
“Earlier 500 youth could become doctors… Now from these new medical colleges 2,000 youth can become doctors. No one will need to go to Pakistan to study medicine.
He further said that so far 40,000 people including security personnel, terrorists and civilians have been killed in the J&K violence. “It is time to come out of this bloodshed and move towards development and prosperity. I promise that by 2024, J&K will get what it deserves and will become one of the most prosperous places in India.
Hitting out at the NC and the PDP, Shah said the leaders of these two parties never condemned those who killed civilians. “Time is gone when terrorists could take advantage of the situation. No one will be allowed to kill civilians and we assure you that peace will prevail in J&K.
Earlier in the day, Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha offered prayers at the Kheer Bhavani temple in Tullamulla, Ganderbal. Wearing the traditional Kashmiri pheran, Shah offered prayers at the dargah.
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