KOCHI: BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Sunday said connecting with the people of Kashmir was the responsibility of every Indian, as they had been "fed a separative narrative" for nearly six decades.
Making it clear that the entire territory of Kashmir belonged to India, he said, "... Whatever is under the occupation of our neighbour (Pakistan) is ours, but it will come (to us)."
The BJP leader was speaking on the topic "New India, New Kashmir" organised by the party's Ernakulam district committee here.
Madhav said connecting with the people of Kashmir is the "responsibility of all of us" as they were a society which had been "fed separative narrative for 50-60 years."
"... friends, when we say Kashmir is ours, what we say is every Kashmiri is ours. Today the country has to embrace the entire population of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
"No discrimination, no ill feelings. They are our own people. They are our family," he added.
Noting that the Narendra Modi led government has drawn up a roadmap for Kashmir, he assured that development would reach the doorsteps of ordinary Kashmiris.
"We are going to give them all the political powers that were denied in the name of Article 370. We have already extended economic packages to them. We are extending political reservations for SC and ST...," he claimed.
The BJP leader said the Centre has done away with more than 150 discriminatory laws passed by Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in the name of state subject.
"And 120 laws passed by Parliament, which were not extendable to the state earlier, are now being extended so that the dignity of the ordinary human beings, people of the state can be protected", he said.
Taking a dig at political parties opposing the scrapping of Article 370,the constitutional provisions giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Madhav said the issue should not be looked at from the prism of Pakistan.
"Some people have a lot of concern for Pakistan. How will they (Pakistan) react, how will the international community react?" he asked.
As Indians, Madhav said we should stop looking at Kashmir from the prism of Pakistan.
"It is our state. Kashmir is ours...," he said.
He claimed that Kashmir was peaceful not because of the presence of security forces but because people realised that Prime Minister Modi was working to ensure development and equal opportunities for all in the state.
"Large parts of the state are out of curfew. Friday congregations in mosques in the valley are peaceful. Barring sporadic incidents here and there, the valley is largely peaceful," he said.