‘Kashmir freedom struggle is a farce,’ says minister

BJP leader and minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said there was no “freedom struggle” going on in Kashmir as claimed by Pakistan.

“There is no such thing like freedom struggle at all in Kashmir. It is a farce. It is a manufactured freedom struggle. It is a mercenary movement, which has gradually graduated into an industry now, in which there are huge vested interests involved and such people carry out mayhem in the name of freedom struggle,” Singh, who is Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region, told reporters in Jammu on Friday.

He was replying to a question about Pakistan’s claim of “freedom movement” in Kashmir, according to news agency PTI.

The minister said the “realisation that they were being exploited in the name of struggle has dawned upon the youths and cited the example of a “leading” militant commander being nabbed with the assistance of a woman,” according to PTI.

“She was among the young women who were being exploited by these militant commanders in Kashmir,” he said.

“The youths of Kashmir have understood that those who are exploiting them have their children lodged in the safe havens of the country and the world and are using them as the sacrificial goat,” he added.

“There is a lot of awakening in a large section of youths and they wish to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental journey in the country,” he added.

“They want to avail the opportunities available to the youths in other parts of the country. They don’t want to miss this bus. They want to be part of this journey,” Singh, who is also minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, said.

On the violence in connection with braid chopping incidents, the minister said that there was not a single case with substantial evidence.

“There can be mischief behind this… the right thinking citizens will condemn this. We should not jump to conclusion without having any evidence.

“We live in evidence-based era. We should not allow it to become a tool for certain politicians or separatists,” he  said.

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