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PM Modi vows to build a new Kashmir; Sikhs hail him for Kartarpur corridor

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Houston | September 22, 2019 2:11:27 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to address the woes of Kashmiri Pandits by building a new Kashmir, while the members of Sikh community here hailed him for his landmark initiative to construct the Kartarpur corridor.

The Dawoodi Bohra community members also felicitated Modi, who received a warm welcome from Indian diaspora upon his arrival here where he is scheduled to address the mega -- Howdy Modi - event on Sunday at the NRG Stadium.

A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits met Modi on Saturday and thanked him for the historic decision to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi acknowledged the hardships endured by the community following their exodus from their ancestral homeland back in 1989-1990 due to militancy. "You have suffered a lot, but the world is changing. We have to move ahead together and build a new Kashmir," Modi told them.

"I had a special interaction with Kashmiri Pandits in Houston," PM Modi tweeted following his interaction with them who assured the Prime Minister of their full support in building a peaceful and prosperous Kashmir.

"We thanked him on behalf of 700,000 Kashmiri Pandits all over the globe for such a historic decision. We assured him that our community will work with the government to fulfill his dream for a Kashmir which is peaceful, full of growth where people are all happy," Surinder Kaul, a member representing Kashmiri Pandit community, told ANI.

The group also presented a memorandum, requesting the Prime Minister to establish a task force or advisory council comprising members from the community that would "bring together respected Kashmiri Pandit community leaders, subject matter experts, and key stakeholders both in India and abroad to advise and help in the development of a comprehensive plan to repatriate and reintegrate Kashmiri Pandits to the region."

Members of the Sikh community thanked Modi for some path-breaking decisions taken by his government including on the Kartarpur Corridor. They also submitted a memorandum requesting the Prime Minister to address longstanding issues pertaining to the 1984 Sikh genocide, Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, Anand Marriage Act, and other issues.

"We submitted a memorandum and thanked Modi ji for what he has done for Sikh community," said Avinder Chawla, sitting Commissioner, Arvin, California. "We also thanked him for the Kartarpur corridor. President Trump is coming here tomorrow (at Howdy Modi) and the event demonstrates how important a leader PM Modi is," he said.

One of the members of the Sikh delegation called the Prime Minister a 'tiger' and said that the Sikhs stand with Modi just as the community has always stood for India. "We are with Modi ji. He is our tiger. He is a man who we call Iron Man. We are standing with him as Sikhs have always stood for India," said a member of the Sikh delegation.

Prime Minister Modi also interacted with the members of Dawoodi Bohra community here on Saturday. They felicitated Modi and recalled his visit to Indore last year to attend a programme of their community. They also highlighted the Prime Minister's association with Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Sahib.

"The Dawoodi Bohra community felicitates PM @narendramodi in Houston. They recall PM Modi's visit to Indore last year to attend a programme of their community as well as highlight PM Modi's association with Syedna Sahib," tweeted PMO India.

Members of the Indian community are excited about Modi's visit. Calling Modi a "dynamic leader," one of his supporters said: "Things have changed after Modi 1.0 and 2.0. Modi ji is a dynamic leader. He walks the talk."

"We are very excited to have Prime Minister Modi and President Trump here...amazing, motivational leader. He (Modi) has done a lot of work and we are very proud of him," said another supporter.

Soon after arriving here, Modi said in a tweet that he is looking forward to a wide range of programmes in this "dynamic" and "energetic" city. "Howdy Houston! It's a bright afternoon here in Houston. Looking forward to a wide range of programmes in this dynamic and energetic city today and tomorrow," tweeted Modi.

At the airport in Houston, Prime Minister Modi was received by Director of Trade and International Affairs, Christopher Olson and other officials. US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster and Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla were also present.

Modi will have a round table meeting with the CEOs of oil sector companies on the first day of his arrival in the US. (ANI)

 
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