Union Home Minister Amit Shah slammed National Conference president Farooq Abdullah for seeking talks with Pakistan. He asserted that the government would rather talk to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to make the state the most developed in the country.

The home minister is in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since Article 370 was abolished in August 2019. Since then the Minister has only remotely inaugurated several development projects and laid the foundation stone for others.

During the event, Amit Shah also removed the bulletproof glass erected at the stage for his safety. He asserted that he wants to communicate with people directly.

"I read in newspapers that Farooq Abdullah has suggested that the government should talk to Pakistan. He has right to his opinion but we would rather talk to the Kashmiri youth," said Mr Shah.

"Article 370 was repealed with a single goal in mind- to put Kashmir, Jammu, and the newly created Ladakh (Union Territory) on the road to development. By 2024, you'll be able to see the results of our efforts," he added.

In August 2019, the provision granting special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir was repealed and the state was divided into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Also Read: Those trying to disrupt development & peace in J&K will not succeed: Amit Shah

Shah inaugurated a 500-bed hospital in Bemina that cost 115 crore, laid the foundation stone for the Handwara Medical College, a 46-crore steel girder bridge over the Ferozepur Nallah in Baramulla district, and 4,000-crore road projects, among other initiatives.

Those who advocate discussions with Islamabad and separatists should be asked what Pakistan has done in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), said the home minister who is on his third day in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Compare the progress of this side and PoK. Do they have access to electricity, roads, healthcare, and public bathrooms? Nothing exists. You have the same rights as everyone else in India," he stated.

Without naming the Congress, the National Conference or the Peoples' Democratic Party, he claimed that although the "three families who have governed Jammu and Kashmir" established only three medical colleges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured the establishment of seven new medical colleges.

Will wipe out terrorism

Insisting that the government's goal is to eliminate terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir and put a stop to civilian killings, Shah stated that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace and development in the Union Territory.

He defended the curbs on internet services and the imposition of curfews that followed the revocation of Article 370, saying that "some people would have misled the general public. Who would have been killed if this had happened? The youth of Kashmir."

He said that 40,000 people have been killed in Kashmir as a result of violence, which he believes should be put to an end immediately.

A new phase of development in J&K

Amit Shah on his first tour to Jammu and Kashmir after revocation of article 370 stated that a new phase of development has begun and no one can stop it.

Mr Shah claimed that five lakh jobs have been created in Jammu and Kashmir since the formation of the BJP government at the Centre, and 20,000 people have been given government jobs in the last two years.

"In only six months after launching a new industrial policy, we have received an investment of 7,000 crore in Jammu and 6,000 crore in Kashmir, and we are looking forward to an investment of 50,000 crore by the end of 2022," Mr Shah said.

He added the "three families" were questioning what the government will provide to Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have a long list of what we have given to J&K, and the people are well aware of it. However, the people are seeking an explanation from them as to what they have given to J&K despite dominating the state for seven decades. 

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