Jaitley to Pakistan: Borders can't be changed
Describing the higher voter turnout in J&K polls as a "message for the outside world", Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday warned Pakistan against any adventurism over Kashmir.india Updated: Dec 04, 2014 10:00 IST
Describing the higher voter turnout in J&K polls as a "message for the outside world", Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday warned Pakistan against any adventurism over Kashmir.
Addressing a huge gathering of the civil society members in Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre, Jaitley said Pakistan will have to understand that times have changed and that borders cannot be redrawn.
"Global appetite to accept violence is over. India's strength to defeat any kind of insurgency has grown. Gun cannot change anything now," the Union minister said.
Congratulating the people of the state for their massive participation in the first two phases of the assembly polls, Jaitley said they have written a "new page of history."
He said the massive turnout has sent a message ato the outside world that Kashmiri people wanted to decide their future by casting vote in favour of a democracy.
"This vote has come despite past sufferings, boycott calls and inclement weather because people are fed up with the past happenings," Jaitley added.
Jaitley said it was his party, the BJP, which deserves credit for conducting what he said were free and fair polls in the state.
The Union minister also chose to redefine former BJP Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's famous slogan of resolving Kashmir "Insaniyat ke dayeeray mein (Within the limits of humanity).
"Insaniyat means creating an equal and just society. It does not mean not responding to terror or breaking up the nation," said Jaitley, while promising equality and prosperity under the Indian constitution.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy is clear that if there is any violation there should be investigation.
"Within two hours of the killing of two boys (in Budgam), I, as defence minister, not only condemned but apologised for the deaths. The investigations also proved the army men were guilty and the army visited the victim families. It was historical."
Reiterating that J&K was "an integral part of India", the Union minister asked separatists to join the mainstream.
"We will welcome and talk with open heart to those who give up separatism," Jaitley added.
In a veiled reference to the debate of Article 370, he said, "People here have distanced themselves from the state-centre relations debate. It was no debate during the floods where people were just worried about safety and lives. People now want to get heard for justice, have economic development and better living standards."
Describing younger generation as "aspirational", the Union minister said the common man in Kashmir has borne the brunt of the violence.
"Younger generation will not forgive those who harp on the past," he said.
The BJP leader said time has come for Kashmir to choose mainstream national party to achieve the party vision of peace, progress and prosperity.
The Union minister was accompanied by senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, P S Gill, Avinash Khanna and G A Mir.