Kashmir issue can be resolved by embracing Kashmiris: PM Modi

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India] Aug 15 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Kashmir issue can't be resolved with bullets and abuses but by embracing Kashmiris. He was addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of 71st Independence Day after unfurling the tri-colour. "The Kashmir issue can't be resolved with bullets and abuses but it would be resolved by embracing Kashmiris," PM Modi said. His assertion was aimed at connecting chords with the common Kashmiris at a time when there is continued unrest in Kashmir Valley, security forces have been offensive against terrorists and there is a crackdown on the Kashmiri separatists. Last month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven Kashmiri separatists - Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate for funding terror in the Kashmir Valley. The Prime Minister said that "we have to work for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir and we are committed to restoring Kashmir's status of Heaven on Earth". It is for the first time that PM Modi's party- Bharatiya Janata Party- is a part of Jammu and Kashmir Government which is headed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti. PM Modi also sent a strong message against terrorism and said there is no question of being soft on terrorists and terrorism will be dealt with iron fist. The Prime Minister said India is fighting the menace of terrorism jointly with the global community. Jammu and Kashmir has been in the grip of terror since 1980s and the bloodshed has claimed lakhs of lives of civilians and security forces. Kashmir Valley has been witnessing unrest since last year when the security forces gunned down terror outfit Hijbul-Mujahideen's poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter. While on the one hand, security forces have managed to kill top terrorists in Kashmir Valley and their morale is high, and on the other hand terrorists are also desperate to have their presence felt. Not only Burhan Wani, the security forces also managed to eliminate his successor Sabzar Bhat on May 26, 2017. Amidst the sporadic terror incidents in the Kashmir Valley, the terrorists also managed to attack highly secured annual Amarnath Yatra on July 10 and killed 8 pilgrims. PM Modi also mentioned 2016 surgical strike in his speech and said that when India conducted surgical strikes then the world acknowledged our might. India on September 29, 2016, announced conducting surgical strike against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The surgical strikes were conducted to avenge September 18, 2016 Uri terror attack in which four heavily armed terrorists had killed 19 soldiers. It was reported as "the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades". (ANI)