‘If jihad promises heaven, why don’t separatists send their kids first’: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: In a stern message to the Kashmiri separatists, who are leaving no stone unturned in misleading the youth in the name of jihad, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh today said if ‘jihad’ is a sure shot way to ‘jannat’ then why don’t they send their kids in ‘safe heaven’.

“Most of these youth, who got killed, were the children of the poorest of the poor sections of the valley. Those who motivated these children to come forward in the name of ‘jihad’ have safely kept their children in safe haven in India’s metros and abroad. If jihad is holy and it is a mean to go to heaven, why don’t they send their children first?” Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.

Continuing to speak on the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, Singh said that the time has come to rise above politics.

“We all are worried about Jammu and Kashmir. Time has arrived to rise above political lines. Jammu and Kashmir is unique in the sense that it has its own Constitution. Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir itself says ‘I am an integral part of India’.”

Raising the need to enlighten the Kashmiri youth, Singh said the youth there want to be the beneficiary of India’s success story.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier reached out to the people of Kashmir and indicated his willingness to hold dialogue under the framework of the ‘insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and kashmiriyat’.

He said that when Vajpayee was the prime minister, he had adopted the path of ‘insaniyat, jamhuriyat and kashmiriyat’ and the present government walks the same road.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking at a public meeting at Bhabra in Madhya Pradesh, the birthplace of freedom fighter Chander Shekhar Azad, yesterday appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony in Kashmir.

The Prime Minister said Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Centre are working together to solve the state’s difficulties, but some people, who are unable to digest it, are clinging onto the path to destruction.

He said that his government wants to take Kashmir to new heights of development, empower its panchayats and give job opportunities to its youth.