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PM Modi assures to fulfil Vajpayee’s Kashmir dream

PM Modi assures to fulfil Vajpayee’s Kashmir dream
Highlights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assures to fulfil Vajpayee’s Kashmir dream, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee\'s dream of restoring peace in J&K will be realised.

  • Proposes ‘common model’ for Himalayan states
  • We want to win hearts of people of J&K: PM
  • Development of J-K depends on Railways: Omar
  • KPs rejects proposal for return to original locations


Katra: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's dream of restoring peace in J&K will be realised. Addressing a public rally here, Modi said: "Jammu and Kashmir has passed through very trying times. It is the desire of every Indian to ensure that the state makes progress and the youth here get employment.
PM Narendra Modi during the inauguration of newly constructed Katra-Udhampur rail link in J&K on Friday. Photo: Thehansindia E-Paper
"It is our duty, and we will do it, whether we are in power in the state or not. "I want to give a message to the people of J&K that the journey started by Vajpayee in the state will be taken to its logical conclusion." Stressing that Himalayan states have similar sets of problems and opportunities, Modi proposed a "common model" for the their development.

"I accept that there is need to have a separate policy and planning for development of the Himalayan states in India. All the states located in Himalayan belt have same set of problems and also diverse opportunities in similar nature," Modi said. Modi declared that the Centre wants to win the hearts of people of J&K through development as he flagged off the train linking Katra--the base camp for Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Trikuta hills--with the rest of the country. Suggesting that the train be named 'Shree Shakti Express', Modi, said the state has gone through many "problems and difficulties" and the country wants it to be "prosperous and peaceful". Underlining that economic development of J&K is largely dependent on railways, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stressed the need for early completion of unconnected stretches of Jammu-Baramulla Railway track.

Omar said that rail services in Kashmir was a dream and referred the significant contribution made by former Prime Ministers - Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh in realising "this cherished desire of the people." Modi also paid tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives while protecting the borders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi laid a floral wreath at the War Memorial at the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps of the Army in Badamibagh Cantonment here, army officials said. Meanwhile, the proposal for the return of displaced Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) to their original locations in the Valley has been rejected by the community, Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj said. "The return of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) in previous locations and such small clusters have already been rejected by the community," YAIKS President R K Bhat said at a youth convention here.

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