New Delhi, Aug. 15 : Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu today lashed out at the Congress for cornering Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking on the prevailing unrest in Kashmir but rather highlighting Islamabad's brutality in Gilgit-Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and said that the nation must speak in one voice.
Naidu said it is unfortunate that the Congress, instead of condemning Pakistan, is critical of the Prime Minister's statement.
"I am not able to understand. Our Congress friends, instead of trying to defend our national interest, I don't know why they are trying to offend it.
I hope they understand the damage they are doing to the cause of the nation," Naidu said. "Today the nation has to speak with one voice with regard to fighting terrorism, with regard to outside interference in J-K," he added.
Describing Prime Minister Modi's Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort as 'inspiring', Naidu said the former has sent an unequivocal message to Pakistan without naming it.
"He has outshined the various developments of the government and also the need to have a change in the society, change of mindset among people and also he has explained India's resolve to march forward.
He has sent an unequivocal message to Pakistan without naming it that we will not tolerate any kind of interference in our internal affairs," he added.
The Union Minister said it is a well-known fact that Pakistan is aiding, abetting and funding terrorists.
"And today every day we are seeing some or the other attempts are being made by Pakistan to fish in troubled waters...Pakistan should understand that this is not acceptable in India at all," he added.
Naidu further said that Pakistan should set its own house in order first instead of interfering in India's internal matter, "In spite of our government making all efforts of having a normal relationship with Pakistan, they are not responding in a positive manner.
Kashmir is a settled issue, it is an integral part of India. The only issue is as to how to get back the PoK to India," he added while asserting that the government is making attempts to reach out to all sections of the people with regard to Kashmir.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, earlier expressed his disappointment over the fact that the Prime Minister was all the time talking about Balochistan and other places, but didn't say a word about the present unrest in Kashmir.
"Now, this is the 37th day there is curfew in Kashmir, but he did not utter even a single word about the boys and the people killed there and the thousands of people injured and the prolonged curfew.
He didn't talk about the plight of the Kashmir," Azad told the media here. "So, he didn't talk about the Kashmir which is our part, an integral part of India. He was talking about something which was occupied by somebody else," he added. Stating that Balochistan is not a problem, the Congress leader pointed out that the main cause of concern at the moment is Kashmir.
"Kashmir is burning. This is for the first time if I remember correctly never before in 36 years I have seen that a full-fledged debate in Rajya Sabha on two occasions within 25 days.so, in total four times this issue was raised and discussed in the Parliament so important is this issue," said Azad.
Questioning the Prime Minister's silence on Kashmir, the Congress leader said, "That was the place to give the message to our own Kashmir, who are our own kith and kin.
So, you are not talking about your own children." Deviating from the norm of restricting Independence Day speeches to issues of domestic import, the Prime Minister earlier said the fact that people from those remote and deprived regions are approaching India for help and support should be seen as a certificate of credit of New Delhi's humanitarian approach and the greater need for shunning violence as a pursuit of one's life.
"Many innocents were killed in Peshawar terrorist attack, but there were tears in everyone's eyes in Parliament here," he said in his speech on the occasion of India's 70th Independence Day.