Published on : Monday, April 3, 2017
On Sunday, 2nd April, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi urged the youth of Kashmir to choose tourism in place of terrorism, after launching a 37.2 billion rupee ($574 million) highway tunnel in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
To quote the PM, “While on the one hand youth in Kashmir were busy pelting stones, on the other some youth were breaking stones to carve out this tunnel.” Modi has promised the local population in the state of J&K increased security and promise of a better future through investment, jobs creation and infrastructure development. As an aftermath of unrest in the state and acts of violence since last summer, largely in the form of troops firing on civilian crowds, which had 84 civilians dead and more than 12,000 civilians and security force personnel wounded, the PM called for peace and local youth engagement in tourism and promise of more jobs.
This new project has “provided employment to over 2,000 unskilled and skilled youth of Jammu and Kashmir as 94 percent of the work force was from the state.” PM Modi said that this new tunnel will not only help farmers in the region but also double up tourism in the state. He said that the Indian government has plans of building nine such tunnels in J&K and better connections mean better jobs.
Separatist groups of Kashmir had called for a strike to resist Modi’s visit.