Speaking out against the attacks on Kashmiris in the wake of the terror strike in Pulwama on February 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that “our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmir or Kashmiris”. He said Kashmiris are also victims of terrorism.
Addressing a rally in Tonk district of Rajasthan, Modi reiterated that the Army has been given a “free hand (khuli chhuth)” to strike back after the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
“Main dekh raha hu ki in dino, social media par jaise veer-ras ki baat aayi hai. Lekin bhaiyo aur beheno, hamari ladai aatankavaad ke khilaf hai, manavta ke dushmano ke khilaf hai. Hamari ladai Kashmir ke liye hai, Kashmir ke khilaf nahin hai, Kashmiriyon ke khilaf nahin hai (These days, social media is flooded with verses on valour. But brothers and sisters, our fight is against terrorism, against the enemies of humanity. Our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmir, not against Kashmiris),” he said.
Referring to the incidents of violence and threat against Kashmiris, he said: “Pichle dino, kahan kya hua, ghatna choti thi ki badi thi, Kashmiri bacchon ke saath Hindustan ke kisi kone mein, kya hua kya nahin hua, mudda yeh nahin hai. Is desh mein aisa hona nahin chahiye (The issue is not what happened where, whether it was a small or big incident, what happened or not with Kashmiri students in any corner of Hindustan. Such incidents shouldn’t happen in this country),” said Modi.
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“Kashmir ka baccha baccha, woh bhi in aatankavaadiyon se pareshan hai, woh bhi aatankavaaad ko khatam karne ke liye hamare saath aane ke liye taiyar hai, hamein usko saath rakhna hai (Every child of Kashmir is also troubled by terrorists, they are ready to come with us to end terrorism, we need to keep them with us),” he said.
Saying that the people of Kashmir take care of pilgrims during the Amarnath Yatra, Modi said it is the duty of every citizen of India to protect Kashmiris living in any corner of the country. He said incidents of violence against Kashmiris strengthen those who support sections who want to divide the country (“Bharat tere tukde honge gang walon”).
“Main desh se anurodh karta hoon, hamari ladai aatankavaad ke khilaf hai, manavta ke dushman jo hai, unke khilaf hai. Aur main Kashmir ke mere bhaiyo aur beheno ko bhi biswas dilate hu, chalis saal se, aap bhi aatankavaad ke bhuktabhogi ho. Teen jilon me, kuch mutthibhar logon ke panah se, ye khelta chalta raha hai. Chahe Jammu ho, Ladakh ho, Kashmir ke aur ilake ho, woh aaj bhi shanti chahte hai (I want to request the country, our fight is against terrorism, against enemies of humanity. And I want to assure my brothers and sisters in Kashmir too, for 40 years, you have also been victims of terrorism. This has been going on because of the support of just a handful of people in three districts. Whether it’s Jammu, or Ladakh, or any other area of Kashmir, they want peace even today),” said Modi.
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He said that within 100 hours of the Pulwama attack, the security forces had killed one of those responsible. “Is baar sabka hisaab hoga, hisaab pura hoga. Main Rajasthan ke logon se jaanana chahta hoon, manavta ke aise dushmano ko sabak sikhana chahiye ki nahin? Insaniyat ke aise dushmnano ka chun chunkar hisaab hona chahiye ki nahin? Duniya bhar mein, inka dana paani bandh hona chahiye ki nahin? Saathiyon, aapka ye pradhan sevak isi kaam me juta hai (This time, we will settle the scores. I want to know from the people of Rajasthan whether such enemies of humanity should be taught a lesson or not? Whether we should settle the scores with each and every enemy of humanity or not? Shouldn’t they be isolated? Your pradhan sewak is engaged in this task),” he said.
Urging Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to walk the talk, he recalled his phone conversation with Khan after he was elected. “Maine unse kaha tha, ki ab aap to rajneeti me aaye ho, khel ki duniya se aye ho. Aao, Bharat aur Pakistan mil kar ke, hum garibi ke khilaf ladae, ashiksha ke khilaf ladae… Aur unhone mujhe ek baat aur bhi batai thi, ki Modiji, main Pathan ka baccha hoon, main saccha bolta hoon, saccha karta hoon. Aaj Pakistan ke pradhan mantri ki in shabdo ko kasauti par kasne ki zarurat hai. Main dekhta hoon woh apne shabdo par khare utarte hai ki nahin (I told him that you have come to politics from the world of sports. Let us fight together against poverty, illiteracy… He told me that Modiji, I am the son of a Pathan, I speak the truth, I do what is right. Today, the Pakistan Prime Minister faces the test of his assurances. I will see whether he stands by his words or not),” he said.
The Prime Minister also discussed several welfare schemes launched by his government, and targeted the Congress over “non-fulfilment” of its poll promise to waive farm loans within 10 days of forming the government.