SRINAGAR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while addressing a gathering at Raj Bhawan Srinagar on Friday, reached out to Kashmiri youth, emphasising that their future does not lie in guns and stones but in the vast Indian and global market that awaits their talent.
Inaugurating several projects, Shah stated that those who provided guns and stones to Kashmiri youth were never well-wishers of the younger generation in the Valley. He urged the youth to embrace laptops and explore the abundant opportunities that await them in the Indian and global markets. Shah emphasised that the government eagerly awaits their talent and encouraged them to be part of the transformative change.
Shah noted the significant changes that have occurred in Kashmir over the past few years, with improved security leading to controlled school closures, strike calls, and explosions. He highlighted the peaceful atmosphere and the substantial increase in tourist visits, with 1.88 crore tourists having visited Kashmir last year. Shah also addressed the issue of transportation, promising proper security verification for taxi services to ensure that everyone is entitled to access them, regardless of familial ownership.
Furthermore, Shah criticised the Gandhi, Abdullah, and Mufti families, stating that they prevented the flourishing of democracy at the grassroots level in Kashmir for decades. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to hold Panchayat elections and extend democracy to every village in Jammu and Kashmir.
Shah highlighted the government’s plans to address the growing tourist influx by tripling hotel room capacity across the Valley within the next five years. He assured that tourists would no longer face accommodation issues. Additionally, he emphasised the benefits Jammu and Kashmir residents are now receiving through various small-scale schemes, citing the provision of Rs 6,000 annually to 12.43 lakh farmers, a stark departure from the previous 70 years of neglect. Shah also condemned the rampant corruption that hindered funds from reaching the intended beneficiaries and resulted in substantial financial losses.
The Home Minister acknowledged the presence of prestigious institutions in Kashmir, including AIIMS, IIM, and IIT, and highlighted the advantages they offer to the local population. He announced plans to develop Dal Lake and Tatoo ground into major attractions, hoping that every Indian would love to visit Srinagar.
In a veiled criticism of National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Shah credited the success of the G-20 summit to the personal efforts of Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. He expressed that the global platform provided an opportunity to showcase the positive changes occurring in Kashmir over the years.(KNO)