Will listen to Kashmiris, not Pakistan, says Amit Shah

Elections will be held in J&K; the Delimitation Commission has ensured that real representatives come to power, he says and tells regional leaders to look at PoK to understand Kashmir’s progress

October 05, 2022 03:30 pm | Updated October 06, 2022 07:44 am IST - BARAMULLA:

Home Minister Amit Shah chaired security review meeting, at Raj Bhavan, in Srinagar, on October 5, 2022.

Home Minister Amit Shah chaired security review meeting, at Raj Bhavan, in Srinagar, on October 5, 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 5 lambasted the Gupkar alliance in his public speech in Baramulla and said he “will listen and talk to people of the Kashmir valley and not Pakistan”.

“They [the Gupkar alliance] want me to talk to Pakistan. I want to talk to the people of the Valley. They want me to listen to Pakistan, I want to listen to people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not accept terrorism and uproot it from Jammu & Kashmir. PM Modi has almost freed Jammu & Kashmir of terrorism,” Mr. Shah, who addressed a large gathering of locals in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, said.

Explained | How the status of Jammu and Kashmir is being changed

He said the regional leaders should see the level of development in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). “There is no electricity, no water and no hospitals. In Kashmir, every village is electrified. Kashmir was a hotspot of terrorism and now a hotspot of tourism. From mere six lakh tourist visiting a year, Kashmir till October has witnessed 22 lakh tourists,” he added. 

Mr. Shah stopped his speech when Azaan was being said on a local mosque speaker as a mark of respect. Restarting his speech, he urged people of Kashmir to join the mainstream. “We want a holistic development in Jammu & Kashmir. People should join the mainstream and the development process and move forward,” he added.

The Minister said it pains his heart if anyone gets killed. “The biggest burden on a father’s shoulders is the coffin of his son. Around 42,000 ordinary people have died in Kashmir due to terrorism. None was a son of a politician. Who is responsible for 42,000 deaths? The Muftis and Abdullah. Terrorism will yield nothing,” Mr. Shah said.

He said elections in J&K will follow the process of finalisation of electoral rolls. “Elections will be held. The J&K delimitation commission has ensured that real representatives come to power,” he added.

The Union Minister said the Modi model for Kashmir is peace, development and harmony. “The Gupkar model gave us the Pulwama attack and the Modi model set up a hospital worth ₹2,000 crore hospital in Pulwama. The Gupkar model is for stones in hands, closed colleges and machine guns in youth’s hands. The Modi model is implementing ₹56,000 investments on the ground,” Mr. Shah said.

He named the Abdullahs and the Muftis and blamed them for youth having stones and guns in their hands. “PM Modi replaced them with mobiles and laptops by setting up industry and providing employment,” Mr. Shah said.

Referring to former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s tweet, Mr. Shah said, “Let Ms. Mufti and Mr. Abdullah open their ears. What have you given to J&K in 75 years? Democracy was restricted to 87 legislators and six Members of Parliament, we made 30,000 people join the democratic process by taking electoral process to grassroots level, from panchayat to tehsil,” he said.

He said the three families — the Abdullah, the Mufiis and the Gandhis — ruled J&K for over 70 years and attracted just 15,000 crore investment. “In just three years, ₹56,000 crore investment has come to J&K. One lakh homeless people were provided homes for the first time. We got IIT, AIIMS, NIT, NIFT, additional medical colleges and nursing colleges to J&K,” the Minister said.

Mr. Shah’s rally was largely attended by Gujjar and Paharis after the recent announcement of inclusion of Paharis in the Schedule Tribe list.

“After removal of Article 370, reservation to STs and Schedule Castes became possible. Mr. (Farooq) Abdullah is provoking people that Gujjar reservation will be cut. All Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis will get reservation in education, jobs and elections and not a single percent will cut from Gujjars.

He also recalled the role of Maqbool Sherwani in 1947. “He fought Pakistan and laid down his life to save his motherland in 1947. Otherwise, Baramulla too would have been part of backward POK,” he said.

Mr. Shah said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and PM Modi’s efforts on development front was visible on the smiling faces of people of J&K.

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