Kashmir 40-Year-Old Problem, Present Condition Not Bad: Modi  

SRINAGAR — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday “disagreed” that condition in entire Kashmir is not good. 

“I do not agree that the condition in Kashmir is not good. This is a 40-year-old problem and there have been interruptions, but you will see that only two, two-and-a-half districts in Jammu, Ladakh and Srinagar Valley are left where the condition is not good. Local-level elections were not held for many years in the Srinagar Valley,” Modi said in an interview with Hindustan Times. 

“Earlier governments were obstructions. Right now, we have conducted elections. Hundreds of people were killed in panchayat elections in West Bengal, but there was no single incident in Kashmir. Are conditions bad in Bengal or in Kashmir?”

Asked if thinks that there is no possibility of dialogue with Pakistan and talks will take place only on international forums, Modi said: “See, when I was not even the PM, I had not taken oath, I called the Prime Minister of Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony, only for the sake of our country. After that I went to Lahore. Even after that such things happened. So, why does the world believe me? The world has seen that Modi has taken the initiative to shake hands. The world trusts Modi. Pakistan did try very hard, but I put it in the dock.”

Asked about his achievements, Modi said: “It had been a very satisfactory and extremely good five years. My experience in these five years boosted my belief that there is no reason why India should remain in the category of developing countries. We have all the capabilities to be a developed country.

When I came here, the situation was much worse than what I thought it would be. It was a terrible situation. I was new to this place and I also had to understand issues but as we started taking decisions, several worrying things came up. My long experience as chief minister helped me to remain confident and I knew that we would find ways, and we did find ways.”

Asked which are the three big achievements that give him satisfaction, Modi said: “It would be difficult to restrict myself to this. Earlier the government would beat its own drum throughout the year over one or two achievements. My case is such that if you take any ministry, any state or any development work, you can see a new initiative. There are so many achievements and initiatives that to confine it to just three would be an injustice to other departments and my colleagues.” 

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