Srinagar, Aug 9 : The National Conference on Tuesday downplayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Kashmir and said his words hinted that he does not want to acknowledge the sentiments of Kashmiri nationalism.
NC leader Junaid Mattu said the youth of Kashmir are protesting because they have a political sentiment and the Prime Minister shouldn't have taken so long to break his silence over such a crucial issue.
"It shouldn't have taken this long for the Prime Minister to break his silence. And when he broke his silence, we expected that there would be a concrete, tangible and political outreach.
I don't think that youth of Kashmir are out in the streets because they need laptops, but because they have a political sentiment," said Mattu.
"When Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that the people of Kashmir enjoy freedom as the rest of the country, he means that I will not engage with the political sentiment, I will not acknowledge the sentiments of Kashmiri nationalism and that is inherently problematic," he added.
Prime Minister Modi earlier said only dialogue and development can ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir. "Every Indian loves Kashmir. The azaadi (freedom) that every Indian feels, Kashmir can feel too," he said while speaking at an event to commemorate the sacrifices of freedom fighters on the Quit India day at revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad's village at Bhabra in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
The Prime Minister said he is pained to see young men pelting stones on security forces in the state. "The boys, who should be holding laptops, bats and balls in their hands and dreams in their hearts, are ones carrying stones," he said.
Prime Minister Modi said Kashmir wants peace and the government is committed for development of the region.
"Whatever Kashmiris want for betterment of their livelihood, the Centre will help," he said..