Reaching out to the youth of the Kashmir Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spelled out initiatives for peace and development, and assured they will not inherit the problems faced by their parents and grandparents.
In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stones of several projects worth around Rs 20,000 crore for the union territory. These included the opening of the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the two regions.
"The youth of the Valley, your father and mother, your dada and dadi, your nana and nani, had lived a life of trouble (museebat). My youth, you will not live such a life of trouble. I assure this," Modi said in a message to the Kashmiri youth.
The prime minister, who was addressing the Panchayat Divas rally here, also said that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir should trust his word, and highlighted the peace and development initiatives taken by the government in the past few years.
"Projects worth Rs 20,000 crore related to connectivity and electricity have been inaugurated here today. In a bid to speed up the development in Jammu and Kashmir, many development initiatives are being taken up in the union territory," he said.
Modi said that these initiatives will provide huge employment opportunities to the union territory's youth.
"With the inauguration of a 500-KW solar power plant at Palli in Samba district, it is moving towards becoming the country's first panchayat to become carbon neutral...The people of Palli have demonstrated what 'Sabka Prayas' can do," he said.
Be it democracy or development, Jammu and Kashmir is setting a new example for the rest of the country. "New dimensions of development have been created in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two to three years," the prime minister said.
Praising Jammu and Kashmir for showing the way forward for Panchayati Raj, he said that it is a symbol of change that this year the Panchayati Raj Day is being celebrated in the union territory.
"It is (a matter of) great pride that I am addressing Panchayati Raj Institutions across the country from Jammu and Kashmir when democracy has reached the grass root," Modi said.
Asserting that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are witnessing such an event after decades, he said that it is proving an example for the rest of the country.
"Jammu and Kashmir will write a new chapter of development", he said, adding that Rs 38,000 crore of private investment has been received in the union territory in two years as compared to Rs 17,000 crore in the last seven decades.
The central laws that empower people were not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. But now they have been implemented by this government for empowering people, Prime Minister Modi said.