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.
During the address, he spoke about how Article 370 gave nothing but terrorism, separatism, dynastic politics and corruption, and that Pakistan used Article 370 as a weapon. PM Modi said: "The problems of people here were never discussed. No one was able to say how Article 370 benefitted people there. Article 370 did not give anything more than terrorism and corruption. It was used by Pakistan as a weapon. 42,000 innocent people were killed here because of it. The development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh could not happen the way it deserved."
He further said: "In all these years, people have had permanent thought and feeling that nothing will change. And that is exactly what happened with Article 370. With 370 in place, there was only loss that was coming in Jammu and Kashmir. And no one was discussing it. What gain did it bring to the state in all these years?"
The Prime Minister's address comes on a day that Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen KJS Dhillon confirmed to Republic that the situation in the Kashmir Valley in the aftermath of Article 370's abrogation was 100% normal, busting a virulent campaign to spread fake news by Pakistan ISI-backed social media stooges.
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.
On Wednesday, NSA (National Security Advisor) Ajit Doval went on a two-day review visit to the Jammu and Kashmir amid the security conditions in the region. Republic TV accessed multiple exclusive videos from his visit to the Shopian region. In videos, the NSA can be seen breaking bread with the locals of the region. He can be seen interacting with them, taking a review of their day-to-day activities and assuring them that the situation is normal in the sector. In other videos, he is seen briefing the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Indian Army about the current situation and assuring them of normalcy in the state.