Srinagar: Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday lauded people of Jammu and Kashmir for fighting terrorism and putting the state back on the track of peace and prosperity. "Government of India took many steps to restore peace but without your cooperation, these would not have succeeded," Shinde said addressing Congress party workers here at the end of his three-day visit to the state.
The Home Minister said people of the state, particularly Kashmir, deserved the credit for the end of militancy. "Peace has come to Kashmir and I want to thank people, particularly from the valley, that you determination has seen the end of terrorism. I felicitate you and the credit must go to you," he said. "During my stay, I met many people who saw their dear ones killed in front of them and yet continue to work for the nation," Shinde said.
Expressing happiness over the number of people who attended various functions organised by the party during his Kashmir visit, the Home Minister recalled his time as party in-charge of the state saying public meetings those days were not attended by more than 50 to 70 people. "I remember when I was Congress in-charge of this state from 1992 to 1996, senior leader Ghulam Rasool Kar and I went to a many places and mortars were fired at us. Public meetings meant presence of not more than 50 to 70 people," he said.
Earlier in the day, Shinde paid obeisance at the shrine of revered Kashmiri saint Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani at Chrar-e-Sharief in central Kashmir Budgam district. He had on Saturday visited the Hazratbal Shrine. "As Congress worker, it is important for us to bow our head before all revered places be it Hindu or Muslim or any other faith. God does not discriminate between people," he said. Shinde said he is pained whenever people fight each other in the name of religion. He asked the Congress workers to strengthen the party in the state.