Give hope of ‘New J&K’ to our youth: Mehbooba Mufti to Modi

Udhampur (J&K): With Prime Minister Narendra Modi listening, Chief Minister Mehbooba on Sunday asked him to give hope to the Kashmiri youth about creating ‘New Jammu and Kashmir’ since he is a “courageous” leader who does whatever he decides.

She thanked Modi for supporting her solidly last year when the state was “crossing a river of fire”, a reference to the five-month-long unrest in Kashmir.

“Last year was like crossing a river of fire. There is a lot of improvement since then but a lot is still to be done. That cannot be done by my government alone,” Mehbooba said at a rally here just before the Prime Minister spoke after inaugurating a tunnel between Kashmir and Jammu.

“You are a courageous leader. You do whatever you decide. I have lot of confidence in you,” she said, addressing the Prime Minister amid chants of ‘Modi, Modi’.

Emphasising that in a democracy, all issues can be settled by dialogue, Mehbooba said to Modi, “show a way to our youth about creating ‘New Jammu and Kashmir’ like ‘New India’.”

Referring to the ‘Chenani-Nashri’ tunnel, she said, “it will not only reduce the physical distance, but also connect the hearts and bring the Valley closer to rest of the country.”

She recalled the decision of her late father Mufti Sayeed to join hands with Modi, saying he was confident that the future of the tie-up would be good for the state.

Referring to the unrest, she said, “I thank you for the way you helped me and my government last year, the way you stood by me, the way you kept honourable Home Minister on his toes and helped us emerge from that situation.”

Mehbooba said she was also carrying a message of the tour operators of Kashmir who wanted the Prime Minister to visit the Valley and tell the tourists across the world that it is the safest place for the travellers.

She had to halt her speech a few times because of the chants of ‘Modi, Modi’.