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Identity of Kashmir buried with exodus of Pandits in 1990: Modi

The prime minister said statements made by former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah on the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 are not acceptable.

Identity of Kashmir buried with exodus of Pandits in 1990: Modi
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New Delhi

Describing Jammu and Kashmir as the crown jewel of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the identity of Kashmir was buried when the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits began in 1990.

He also said no one can side with the statements of three detained chief ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir who had said that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 will separate Kashmir from India.

"Who made Kashmir only about land grabbing? Who made Kashmir's identity only about bombs and guns? Can anyone forget that dark night of January? In reality, Kashmiri identity is closely linked with harmony," he said replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address in Lok Sabha.

Modi said Kashmir's identity was buried on January 19, 1990 when Kashmiri Pandits started leaving the valley due to militancy.

The prime minister said statements made by former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah on the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 are not acceptable.

"Many said that Kashmir will be on fire if Article 370 is removed. Many are questioning us for detaining some political leaders. On August 5, Mehbooba Mufti said that India had betrayed Kashmir and we would have been better with deciding otherwise in 1947. Can we accept such people?

"Omar Abdullah said that removing Article 370 will separate Kashmir from India. Farooq Abdullah said that if Article 370 is removed then no one will unfurl the national flag in Kashmir. How can we side with them," he asked.

Modi said such statements made by the former chief ministers were unacceptable.

"These are leaders who don't trust Kashmiri people that is why they used such language. But we trusted Kashmiris and abrogated Article 370," he said.

The prime minister said Kashmir is the crown jewel of India and his government has faith in the people of the valley where development measures are being taken.

"The abrogation of Article 370 has led to the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country," he said.

He said the real identity of Jammu and Kashmir is its egalitarian attitude towards all faiths and its Sufi tradition, and added that the region cannot be left behind.

The prime minister said the restrictions imposed in the Union Territory are being removed and union ministers are going to various of parts of the region, getting direct feedback from the people. The government would definitely act upon the feedback, he said.

Modi said his government is committed to work for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for its all round development.

He said Ladakh would be developed as a carbon neutral Union Territory. 

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