Dont kill or get killed, instead contribute to Kashmir's development: Athawale's appeal to terrorists

SRINAGAR: Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday appealed to terrorists not to kill and get killed, but contribute to the development of Kashmir.

He also said Kashmir had no relation with Pakistan and that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) will be part of India, "one day".

"Kashmir is a beautiful place and Srinagar is a beautiful city. The government is trying to boost tourism so that it creates more employment opportunities and benefits the people.

"But to turn this vision into reality, peace is necessary. Terror activities are taking place here... I appeal to the terrorists not to kill others and get killed themselves, but take part in the development of Kashmir," Athawale told reporters here.

He said the people in Kashmir were waving the tricolour and that the Valley had no relation with Pakistan anymore.

"Pakistan has encroached PoK. One day, the PoK will come to us. The people there want so, they are fed up with Pakistan. We want a united Kashmir and we want its development. Pakistan has to stop attacking us, training terrorists, and misguiding our youth. If Pakistan wants to prosper, it should have good relations with India," he said.

Asked about Congress leader Udit Raj's remarks about President Droupadi Murmu, he said the statement was inappropriate.

"Udit Raj is my friend, but it is not appropriate to make such statements against the President. It is for the first time in the country that (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji gave an opportunity to an Adivasi and a woman to become the President," he said.

At a function recently, Murmu noted that Gujarat manufactures 76 per cent of the salt produced in the country. "It can be said that all countrymen eat Gujarat's salt," she had said.

Reacting to this, Udit Raj posted a strongly worded tweet saying, "No country should get a president like Droupadi Murmu. This is height of sycophancy. She says 70 per cent of people eat Gujarat's salt. Spend your life eating salt, then you will know the truth." Athawale said, "This is not an issue of ‘chamchagiri' (sycophancy), Modi ji discussed this thoroughly. It had not happened for 70 years. Modi ji and the BJP high command proposed her name after thinking it through. It was also discussed with the NDA and we supported it. So, it is not good (Udit Raj's statement) and I oppose that statement." Replying to a question on the Dussehra rallies by two Shiv Sena factions in Maharashtra, Athawale said Eknath Shinde's party was the real Shiv Sena.

"Both the rallies were huge, but Shinde's rally was much bigger. Shinde's Shiv Sena is the real one, they have two-third majority and so they will get the party symbol. I am of the belief that the Election Commission will decide in their favour," he said.


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