Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at Pakistan on Monday, raking up alleged human rights abuses in Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, becoming the first prime minister to mention the troubled regions in an Independence Day address.
The mention of the regions is in line with the government’s recent decision to raise rights violations to hit back at Pakistan for allegedly stoking unrest in the Valley. Modi had said the time had come to expose the plight of people and atrocities committed by Pakistan.
“I want to tell all that I got tremendous response from people belonging to Balochistan, Gilgit, and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The way they have complimented me (for the stand in the all-party meeting), I am grateful to them,” the PM said amid thunderous applause.
But the prime minister steered clear of mentioning Kashmir, where at least 58 people have died and 2,000 injured in a month-long spell of violence sparked by the killing of a militant leader. His decision to omit Kashmir was seen as an attempt to not highlight the simmering anger in the Valley, where many areas are still under curfew.
He mentioned how India was “devastated” to hear about the killing of students in an army school in Peshawar by terrorists, referring to an incident where Taliban gunmen massacred 132 children in an army school in December 2014.
He then drew a parallel between the incident which brought “tears in Parliament and every corner of India”, and how Pakistan tried to eulogise a terrorist.
“We are shocked to see this mentality of trying to glorify terrorism,” said Modi.
Modi didn’t name Pakistan but mentioned how he tried to bring the neighbouring countries together to fight poverty. In a clear message to Islamabad, Modi said, “There have been only losses in fighting against each other. Let’s fight poverty together.”