Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made his first address to the nation following the momentous move by his government earlier in the week to scrap Section 370 pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir thereby integrating the state with India like never before, and also its bifurcation into two Union Territories - J&K and Ladakh.
The Prime Minister began his address by saying that scrapping Article 370 was a historic decision and stressed on the fact that Kashmiris were deprived of benefits and development because of special status, but now, Jammu and Kashmir won't be left behind.
Stressing on the long list of members of the Jammu & Kashmir police force and the Indian Army who had martyred their lives for peace in the state, PM Modi said that the patriotic citizens of J&K stood in the way of Pakistan and its methods of peddling terrorism across the border.
"I assure you that with time the situation will return to normal and peace will once again prevail in the Valley, I wish you all on behalf of the government a very happy Eid. The government will make sure that there are no hindrances in the celebrations", he said.
PM Modi lauded the efforts of the Indian Army and the police force and said that they were doing a great job. Terming J&K as the pride of India, PM Modi said that the list of the people martyred in the attempt to keep the state safe was long.
"Maulvi Gulabdin gave crucial information about Pakistan to help India and was awarded the Ashok Chakra. Col. Sonam Wangchuk who fought bravely in the Kargil War was awarded the Mahaveer Chakra. Ruksana Kausar, who destroyed a huge potential terror threat was awarded the Keerti Chakra. Last year, Aurangazeb was martyred in Poonch following which two of his brothers joined the Army to serve for the people. We should fulfill the dreams of these martyrs and should join hands to make sure peace prevails in the Valley", he said.
It was Home Minister Amit Shah who had moved the two bills and two resolutions that had the effect of mainstreaming of all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. They were cleared by both houses of Parliament with a clear majority, with a number of Opposition parties also backing the bill, including the TDP and AAP, plus the YSRCP. The Prime Minister was in the Lok Sabha when Shah replied to the Opposition. He was given a rousing desk-thumping welcome when he took his seat.