“When Decision Is Right, Its Echo Is Heard”: PM Modi Talks Kashmir In Bangkok
Prime Minister Narendra Modi justified his government’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status at an event in Bangkok on Saturday, saying that it has helped eliminate the root cause of terrorism and separatism in the country.
“You are aware about India deciding to eliminate a big reason behind the sowing of seeds of terrorism and separatism. When a decision is right, its echo is heard across the globe. And I can hear it in Thailand as well,” he said at the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event, where as many as 5,000 members of the Indian community had gathered to greet him on the first day of his three-day Thailand visit.
The central government had scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided it into two distinct union territories on August 5. The bifurcation came into effect from Thursday.
While the move was criticised by Pakistan, which tried to internationalise the issue and escalated tensions at the border, the centre maintained that no foreign nation has the right to question its handling of an internal matter. The ruling BJP has long maintained that Article 370 – which provided Jammu and Kashmir with its special status – was the reason behind terrorism and separatism in the state.
PM Modi then went on to point at the growing importance of India on the international stage, claiming that the country’s values will shape the world in the years to come. “This is my first official visit to Thailand, and I can feel a lot of Indianness here. The entire world celebrated Diwali along with India, and I can see that it was the case here too,” he said at ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event.
The Prime Minister said that while the ties between the two countries are strong, his government wants to bring them even closer by transforming India’s Northeast region into a gateway to Southeast Asia. “Once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is opened, there will be seamless connectivity between both our countries. I am glad that all of you will have a chance to be part of this story,” he said.
The Prime Minister will attend the 16th ASEAN-India Summit, the 14th East Asia Summit and the third summit meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership during his three-day visit to Thailand. He will also participate in the annual East Asia summit and partake in a special leaders’ luncheon organised by his Thai counterpart, Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Monday.