Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that resolution of the Kashmir issue is on the cards and no power on Earth can stop it.
“Kashmir samasya ka hal jaldi hi hone wala hai (resolution of the Kashmir issue will take place soon),” he said before inaugurating a 1,000-m bridge over Ujh river in Jammu’s Kathua district. “Agar baat cheet se nahi, to kaisey, humey achhi tarah maloom hai (If not through talks, then how, we know very well),” he added.
“Yakeen maniye, iska samadhaan ho kar rahega. Main jo bolta hoon, soch samaj kar bolta hoon. Aisey hi nahi bolta hoon (Believe me, its resolution is bound to take place. Whatever I say, I say with full responsibility),” he said.
“Those who say Kashmir was heaven, I tell them that Jammu and Kashmir can again be made heaven on earth,” Singh said, adding that some forces do not want it.
Recalling his repeated visits to Kashmir as home minister during the previous government, Singh said, “Whenever I visited Kashmir, I repeatedly appealed to all those raking up the Kashmir issue to sit and have talks for resolution of the matter. The number of times I appealed to them, no one had done so earlier.”
Singh criticised Hurriyat leaders for misleading Kashmiri children into stone-pelting and inciting them to raise ‘Azadi’ slogans. On the other hand, he said, they send their own children to study and work abroad. “Which azadi do you want to give the youth of Kashmir? Do you want to give them the Azadi which is available in Pakistan?” he asked.
“Everybody knows that the way India is moving forward on the path of development and progress, it will be one of the three top nations in the world. However, some people want to push India backward,” he said, adding that the government wants both Jammu and Kashmir to progress and become the best tourist destination in the world.
Apart from the bridge at Ujh, Singh inaugurated another on Basantgarh river in Samba district. The bridge on Ujh was constructed by Border Roads Organisation at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
Earlier in the day, marking 20 years of the Kargil War, Singh visited Kargil War Memorial at Drass and paid homage to the soldiers. He was accompanied by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and Army chief General Bipin Rawat.
“The Raksha Mantri commenced his visit by laying a wreath in memory of the gallant martyrs of Operation VIJAY at the iconic Kargil War Memorial, which was followed by observing of one minute silence as a mark of respect for the fallen heroes,” said Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia. Singh also visited ‘Veer Bhoomi’ and the ‘Hut of Remembrance’, which are in the memorial premises.
According to the Army, as part of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Singh dedicated a ‘Memory Lane’ which displays information on important battles.
During an interaction with soldiers deployed in Drass sector, the spokesperson said that the minister appreciated the dedication of troops “who are defending the borders in these challenging conditions and conveyed the appreciation of the nation to the Indian Army for always keeping the ‘Nation First’.”
In the afternoon, Singh tweeted, “Paid tributes to fallen soldiers at Kargil War Memorial in Drass today. On the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay the proud nation remembers the exemplary valour and courage exhibited by our soldiers. We will never forget the sacrifices made by them.”