Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday appealed to the youth of Kashmir to question those who instigate them to join the “so-called freedom struggle”. If stone-pelting is a holy task then they should make their own children pelt stones and risk their lives, the minister further added while hitting out at the separatists.
Rejecting separatists as being the stakeholders in Kashmir, Singh said that the real stakeholders of the Valley are its youths who are below the age of 40 and constitute 65 per cent of its population.
Singh while speaking to the reporters said, “I have made this appeal to youth of Kashmir that time has come for you (youth of valley) to raise this question-mark on those (separatists), who instigate you to join this so-called freedom struggle.”
“If they (separatists and others) feel that this struggle of stone-pelting is so holy and a holy task, they should set an example of sparing one child from their own family to become a stone-pelter or lay down his life. This duplicity is not going to work now,” he further added.
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“Kashmiri youth has rejected this duplicity. That is why, 66,000 youth came out for seeking government jobs yesterday despite hostile circumstances. Hurriyat today stand exposed,” Singh said.
“Many of the separatist leaders are now losing their credibility for the fact that they stand totally exposed. You cannot have your children lodged in safe havens of Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi or abroad. You cannot go after government jobs for your children and then ask your neighbour’s children to become stone pelters,” Singh said while lashing out at separatists.
The youth of Kashmir want to be part of the development journey of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said.
“So this itself is an indication and evidence of the fact that the youth of Kashmir want to be part of mainstream India and all want to be part of the development journey led by Prime Minister Modi. Youth of Kashmir also realise their stake of being part of Modi’s development agenda. They are also conscious of the fact when youth in other states are taking benefit of schemes initiated by Modi, the youth of Kashmir must not be left out. They are serious and conscious about it,” he said.
When asked about ‘Islamisation of Kashmir’ comment by militant leader Zakir Musa, he said that as far as Islamisation is concerned, it is a universal phenomenon.
Singh also mentioned that talks and engagement with stakeholders are already on.
With inputs from PTI.