In a veiled attack at Pakistan’s efforts to rake the Kashmir issue at international forums, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 “has troubled some people who cannot handle their country and who support terrorism”.
While addressing a massive gathering of nearly 50,000 Indian-Americans at the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston, which was also attended by US President Donald Trump, Modi said the “conspirators of 9/11 and 26/11 belonged to the same country”.
“India’s decision on Article 370 has troubled some people, who can’t handle their country, who support terrorism. It is a breeding ground for terrorism. Be it 9/11 attack in USA or 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the perpetrators of the acts have been found in that one country,” the Prime Minister told the crowd.
Modi also said that while India lauded and bid farewell to the 70-year-old law (Article 370), the development was being used by separatists and terrorists.
“There was another challenge in front of India when it gave farewell to Article 370. India bid farewell to 70-year-old law which had deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh of the benefits of development. It was being used by separatists and terrorists,” he said.
Reiterating the need for a decisive battle against terrorism and those who promote terror, PM Modi said New Delhi had found its support in the US as President Trump stood firmly by its decision.
“Time has come for a decisive battle against terrorism and against those who promote terror. I want to stress on the fact that in this fight, President Trump is standing firmly,” he said.
Taking into account the participation of thousands of Indians at the event, the Prime Minister said the “energy” at the stadium reflects the increasing “synergy between India and the US”.
“Texas’ spirit is reflected here. This NRG’s energy is proof of increasing synergy between India and the US,” he said.
While referring to the title of the event ‘Howdy, Modi’, PM Modi said he is “nothing on his own”. “When people say Howdy, Modi, I reply by saying everything is fine in India,” he said.
The Prime Minister also provided a glimpse of India’s culture when he spoke in several regional languages including Tamil and Malayalam to say “everything is fine” in India.
“Diversity is unity. This diversity is the core of India’s vibrant democracy,” he said.
PM Modi also referred to this year’s Lok Sabha elections in which BJP returned to power with a bigger mandate, and said the results only reflected the Indian democracy’s greatness across the world.
“We are competing with ourselves. We are challenging ourselves. We are changing ourselves and that is why we are on the path of development,” he said.
“First time in 60 years has it happened that a majority government came back to power in the second term with more vote share,” Modi added.
Before concluding his speech, Modi invited Trump and his family for a visit to India.