Modi appeals to Kashmiri youths to shun violence

Modi appeals to Kashmiri youths to shun violence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses after inaugurating Kishanganga Power Station (330 MW) Bandipora, during a function at SKICC in Srinagar, on Saturday. PTI

Describing the Ramazan ceasefire "an awakening call to those who exploit Islam", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appealed to Kashmiri youths, who have joined violence, to return and live a life of dignity and peace.

"Those who have been helping violence in the state from across our borders are themselves disintegrating this time," Modi said in his speech in Srinagar, after inaugurating a slew of development projects.

"It is time that these youths return to their families. Each stone thrown by a misguided youth hurts the hearts and minds of the people in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

While describing the recently announced unilateral ceasefire "an awakening call to those who exploit Islam", the prime minister said, "All those countries in the world, who followed violence, are finding ways and means to shun it and save their people". 

"Those youths influenced by foreign forces who attack their own motherland should join the mainstream and take an active participation in J&K's progress and contribute to its pride," Modi said. 

On the dialogue process, he said the Centre has appointed a representative (Dineshwar Sharma) to talk to all groups to strengthen the peace process.

"The Central government has appointed a special representative to speak to all elected people to find a way out of these difficult times. Kashmiryat and Jamooriyat connection has to be strengthened," the prime minister said.

He said it is the love and affection of the people (of Kashmir) that brings him here so often.

"The holy month of Ramazan is the time when we re-dedicate ourselves to the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). It's an honour that I am here during the holy month of Ramazan," Modi said.

While praising security forces for their coordination and hardships they face in J&K, he concluded his speech in Kashmiri: "Khodah thevnay khosh to khoshhal (May God bless you and keep you happy)."

Earlier, the prime minister unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of work on the Zojila Tunnel, India's longest road tunnel and Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel in Leh town of Ladakh region.

He also inaugurated the Kishenganga power project and laid foundations for the Srinagar Ring Road at SKICC, Srinagar.

Later in the evening, Modi inaugurated development projects at Jammu's General Zorawar Singh Auditorium.