Jitendra Singh was replying to a question on Pakistan's claim of 'freedom movement' in Kashmir. (File)
Terming as farce Pakistan's often repeated claim that a "freedom movement" was on in Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said it is a manufactured struggle and a "mercenary movement" that has graduated into an industry.
He said the youths in the Valley have now understood the nefarious designs of the elements, who have been using them as "sacrificial goat" while their own children are lodged in safe havens.
"There is no such thing like freedom struggle at all in Kashmir. It is a farce. It is a manufactured freedom struggle.
"It is a mercenary movement, which has gradually graduated into an industry now, in which there are huge vested interests involved and such people carry out mayhem in the name of freedom struggle," Mr Singh, who is Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region, told reporters in Jammu on Friday.
He was replying to a question about Pakistan's claim of "freedom movement" in Kashmir.
The minister said the realisation that they were being exploited in the name of struggle has dawned upon the youths and cited the example of a "leading" militant commander being nabbed with the assistance of a woman.
"She was among the young women who were being exploited by these militant commanders in Kashmir," he said.
"The youths of Kashmir have understood that those who are exploiting them have their children lodged in the safe havens of the country and the world and are using them as the sacrificial goat," he added.
"There is a lot of awakening in a large section of youths and they wish to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's developmental journey in the country," he added.
"They want to avail the opportunities available to the youths in other parts of the country. They don't want to miss this bus. They want to be part of this journey," Mr Singh, who is also minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), said.