NEW DELHI: Unlike his previous hard-hitting speeches on contentious Kashmir issue, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to hash out Kashmir conflict with peace.
In an Independence Day speech today, Modi said: “Na goli se, na gaali se Kashmir ki samasya hal hogi (Neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the Kashmir issue)”. He added: “it will only be solved by love and by embracing all Kashmiris.”
He was speaking before thousands at the landmark Red Fort in New Delhi, as the country marked the 70th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule.
“I want to tell the youth of Kashmir and I’ve said this time and time again, come into the mainstream, you have a right to speak in a democracy,” the PM said.
“Security is our top priority,” Modi said in a speech as India has been involved in a tense standoff with Beijing over a Himalayan Plateau.
“Be it the sea or the borders, cyber or space — in all spheres, India is capable and we are strong enough to overcome those who try to act against our country,” the Hindu nationalist leader declared.
His remarks came as New Delhi’s dispute with Beijing over a strategically key Himalayan plateau enters its third month on Wednesday, with hundreds of soldiers reported to be facing off against each other.
The PM called for the nation’s unity and urged an end to sectarian violence, likely in a reference to cow vigilantism.
“Sectarianism can never benefit the nation. We have to carry everyone with us, as is our tradition. We can’t condone violence in the name of faith. This country cannot and will not accept that,” the PM said.
India is also mired in a border row with Pakistan over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir since their bitter split in 1947.