NEW DELHI: Lashing out at Pakistan for allegedly glorifying terrorists, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday declared that the country will not bow before terrorism even as he said people of Baluchistan and AJK have thanked him for raising issue of atrocities against them.
In a 93-minute address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi made no reference to the situation in Kashmir valley which has been rocked by violence after the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, but 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, which was not directly named by him.
Modi came out openly in support of "freedom" for Balochistan and "Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK)"."I want to speak a bit about the people in Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," he said in his 70th Independence Day speech from the Red Fort. "The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days," Modi said while adding "I am grateful to them."He said the way people from these Pakistani regions "wished me well, gives me great joy".
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 neighbouring nation" in Baluchistan and the areas of J&K under its illegal occupation
The Prime Minister asked the international community to judge the behaviour 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 traumatised. 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
Attired in his trademark half sleeves kurta and sporting a Rajasthani turban, Modi devoted bulk of his address on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day to presenting in effect a report card of his government's work particularly in boosting economic growth, ease of doing business and welfare schemes for the poor and farmers.
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