Declaring that India will not bow before terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday asked the youth who have taken to violence to join the mainstream even as he brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Baluchistan and PoK, saying that they have thanked him to do so.
Though Modi did not make any reference to Kashmir valley which is witnessing violence after the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, he accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists and celebrating killings in India. This was an obvious reference to Wani who has been hailed as a martyr by Pakistan.
In his 93-minute Independence Day address to the nation amidst tight security, Modi said, “From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I want to express my gratitude to some people –the people of Baluchistan, Gilgit and Pak-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) — for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me, the way they expressed gratitude to me, the way they conveyed their goodwill to me recently.”
This is for the first time the disturbed areas in the control of Pakistan have been mentioned by any Prime Minister during his Independence speech. The remarks also come in the backdrop of recent comments by Modi during an all-party meet on Kashmir that the time had come to expose the atrocities committed “by our neighboring nation” in Baluchistan and the areas of J&K (PoK) under its illegal occupation.
The Prime Minister asked the international community to judge the behavior of India and Pakistan in the context of terror attacks in each other’s country.
“When children were killed in terror attack on a school in Peshawar (about two years back), there were tears in our Parliament. Indian children were traumatized. This is the example of our humanity. But look at the other side where terrorism is glorified,” Modi said.
Asserting that India will not yield to terrorism and violence, the Prime Minister asked youths to return to the mainstream by shunning the path of violence, comments which are seen as a message to youth of Kashmir.
“I am telling those youths that there is time left, come back and join the mainstream. Realize your parents’ aspirations. Lead a peaceful life. The path of violence has never benefited anyone,” he said.
Modi impact: Pakistan invites India for talks
Pakistan Monday invited India for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the “international obligation” of both the countries to resolve the issue, notwithstanding India’s insistence that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations.
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement that Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale was called to hand over a letter of invitation for talks.
“The Foreign Secretary called in the Indian High Commissioner this afternoon (15 August 2016) and handed over a letter addressed to his Indian counterpart, inviting him to visit Pakistan for talks on Jammu and Kashmir dispute that has been the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan,” Zakaria said.
“The letter highlights the international obligation of both the countries, India and Pakistan, to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.
Militants kill police officer
One Central Reserve Police Force officer was killed and seven others injured when militants attacked security forces at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar.
An unspecified number of militants fired at the security forces in the area which is close to the historic Jama Masjid. Seven security personnel were injured in the militant attack, a police official said.
The exchange of fire was going on.
The attack came as the country is celebrating the 70th Independence Day.