Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pledged support to Jammu and Kashmir’s development agenda and reached out to people by referring to the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Kashmir legacy, which sought solution to political problems too.
“Both the Centre and the State government will work shoulder to shoulder for carrying forward J&K on the path of development,” said Mr. Modi.
He inaugurated a super-specialty hospital at Katra and addressed the fifth convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in Jammu. It was his first visit since Mehbooba Mufti took over as new Chief Minister.
Rekindling Mr. Vajpayee’s Kashmir legacy, at a time when a weeklong turmoil left five civilians dead in the Valley, Mr. Modi indicated his willingness to follow in the former PM’s footsteps.
“People of J&K had enormous faith in Vajpayee ji. He used to say ‘Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat (Humanity, Kashmiryat and Democracy)’ are keys to progress in J&K. We have to take the State to new heights through these pillars.”
Praising the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, Mr. Modi said, “We remember Mufti Sahab. One thing was always on his mind: to bridge the gap between Jammu and Srinagar.”
In her speech, without mentioning the National Institute of Technology episode, Ms. Mufti said: “J&K is a mini-India. People of all faiths live here. Our outstation students should leave with sweet memories and become ‘goodwill ambassadors’ of J&K in the rest of the country.
“We have witnessed several tragic incidents in the past, like in Baljarala, Chittisinghpora and more recently in Handwara, where innocent people have been fatally caught in the vortex of violence. We need to take immediate steps to end this permanently.”