Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday expressed confidence that terrorism and its ideology will be totally eliminated from Kashmir with repeal of Article 370 and the region will emerge as one of the most developed in the country in the next 10 years due to boost to development.
Shah, who flagged off the semi high-speed train Vande Bharat Express here, said Article 370 was not only an obstacle for unity and integrity of the country, it was also the biggest obstacle in the development of Kashmir.
“I have confidence that after removal of Article 370, we will succeed in the complete elimination of terrorism and its ideology in Kashmir,” Shah said.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his move, he said every Indian wanted the removal of Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the Article, which had prevented the full integration of Jammu and Kashmir, was part of history now and the decision was taken at a meeting of union cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister in August. It was followed by a resolution which was adopted by the two houses of Parliament.
“Kashmir is free of Article 370 and Article 35 A and is part of India like any other state. I feel Article 370 was not only an obstacle for the unity and integrity of the country, but it was also the biggest obstacle in the development of Kashmir. The obstacles in the development of Kashmir have been removed and I have confidence that Kashmir will be among the most developed states in 10 years and a beginning has been made through the Railways,” Shah said.
The Vande Bharat Express train flagged off on Thursday will connect New Delhi with Katra in Jammu and Kashmir.
Shah said Modiji had given a big gift to the residents of the state and the Vande Bharat train will play a big role in the growth of religious tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“For the development of Jammu and Kashmir religious tourism will play a big part, there cannot be any village in India where people do not want to go to Mata Vaishno Devi temple.”
He also thanked the Indian Railways for timely completion of the project.
“I want to thank the Indian Railways from the core of my heart for giving this gift to Jammu and Kashmir in the auspicious occasion of Navratri,” Shah said.
The minister said that the Railways have a big role to play in making India a US 5 trillion dollar economy.
The event was held at New Delhi junction. Those present included Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Harsh Vardhan and Jitendra Singh.