Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in which he made specific reference to Kashmir and said that bullets will not resolve the problem but embracing the Kashmiris will, has been very well received in the strife-hit Valley where cutting across the party lines, the separatists, National Conference and PDP have welcomed the statement.
Modi said that problems in Kashmir cannot be resolved through “gaali” (abusive language) or “goli” (bullets) and the change can come by embracing the Kashmirs.
This is being seen as a major shift in the Centre’s policy on Kashmir and by saying these words, Modi was trying to follow the Vajpayee doctrine that restored normalcy in the Valley in 2003.
Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader, Omar Abdullah, who was the first to react to Modi’s statement, tweeted “PM Modi’s words for Kashmir have been very well received by people here but everyone here is weary of yet more talk & no concrete action”. “That respect must include respect for the unique status J&K enjoys within the constitution of India that sets it apart from all other states”, he said in reference to the controversy regarding the Article 35A.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We look forward to being embraced in the warm grip of understanding, acceptance and respect,” Omar added in another tweet.
In a jibe at the TV channels, Omar tweeted “without the goli (bullets) and the gaali (abuses) what would happen to the TV news studios that specialize in deploying these weapons against all Kashmiris?”
Separatist and Hurriyat Conference leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also welcomed Modi’s statement by tweeting “Welcome @narendramodi also believes”Goli&gaali will not help resolve Kashmir” if insaniyat & insaaf replace them Resolution can become a Reality”.
Welcoming Modi’s statement, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti she has all along believed that dialogue and peaceful means only can help in resolving issues as the futility of violence has been established all around.
Mehbooba said the slogan-“Bandook se na goli se–Baat banay gi boli se” coined by her father Mufti Sayeed some 15 years ago is as relevant today as it was then.
Meanwhile, paying no heed to the separatist leaders call for boycotting the Independence Day functions, large number of students and youth turned out to participate in these functions in the valley and Jammu.
In his address on the eve of the Independence Day, Governor NN Vohra stressed that the collective voice of the various mainstream political parties would assume much greater strength if all the civil society groups in J&K, of whatever kind, also join the cause to negate the agendas of those who seek to destabilise the State.
He said that to achieve peace and normalcy and embark on the path of progress and prosperity, the leaders of all political, social, cultural and religious organisations, the civil society and all other stakeholders in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions, must lose no more time in closing ranks and working together for restoring a positive environment in the State.