Prime Minister Narendra Modi came down heavily on terrorism as he targeted Pakistan in his Independence Day speech. Delivering his third speech from the historic Red Fort Monday morning, he said India will not yield to terrorism and extremism.
“Where killing of innocents by terrorists is celebrated? What kind of terrorism-inspired life is it? What kind of government is which is inspired by terrorism? The world will need to understand the double standards,” Modi said.
Opening attack against Pakistan, he especially referred to Peshawar school attack in December 2014 where more than 140 people, most of them children, were killed.
“They glorify terrorists who attack us while India cried when children were killed in terror attack on Peshawar,” the Prime Minister said highlighting how even the Parliament of India and schools across India had felt the pain over the incident.
During his speech on the 70th Independence Day, he gave a firm message on dealing with the issue of cross-border terrorism, besides flaying Pakistan establishment for instigating situation in Kashmir valley, which is reeling under tension due to spurt in clashes between the security forces and protesters post the encounter killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani last month.
While Pakistan declared Burhan Wani a “martyr” organising programmes in his memory, India had strongly lashed out against the neighbour nation for interfering on matters pertaining to India.
“Country will not yield to terrorism and extremism,” the Prime Minister said while also urging the youth to “come back and join the mainstream”.
“Realize your parents’ aspirations. Lead a peaceful life. The path of violence has never benefited anyone,” he said adding, “If Indian democracy has to be strengthened, if the country’s dreams are to be fulfilled, then violence will never be our path”.
Targeting Pakistan further, PM Modi underlined that the people of Balochistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have thanked India for speaking against the atrocities inflicted by the Pakistan forces on them. “People of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK have thanked me a lot in past few days, I am grateful to them,” the PM added.
His comments came against the backdrop of prominent Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan politicians and civil rights activists thanking India for highlighting the situation in the regions.
Last week a US-based group working in the interest of people of Gilgit-Baltistan, the north-western most region in Jammu and Kashmir, under Pakistan control, had described Pakistan an “occupier”.
Backing India’s stated position, the US-based group had further said that Islamabad’s withdrawal from this part of Jammu and Kashmir would help resolve the Kashmir issue.
“Indian Prime Minister Modi’s policy to highlight human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan is a positive step,” said Senge Sering, director of the Washington DC-based Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress.