Modi defends controversial Kashmir move in address to nation

Indian PM Modi Addresses Independence Day Amid Kashmir Tensions, Vows to Expose Exporters of Terror

The hoisting of the flag will be held at 7.30 am followed by the national anthem and a 21-cannon grand salute as a respect to the freedom fighters.

During his Independence Day address on Thursday at the Red Fort in Delhi, Narendra Modi expressed concern over what he called "jansankhya visphot (population explosion)" and called for initiatives to tackle the country's growing size.

The speech came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India of preparing for military conflict.

He said Article 370, the constitutional provision that granted it special status, had only encouraged corruption.

R Prasad takes a jibe at the Indian military in reference to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's recent statement about India-Pakistan ties.

In his sixth I-Day speech, first since he returned to power in May, the Prime Minister spoke about the need for a nationwide debate on the issue of one nation-one poll, the abrogation of Article 370, and the passage of the triple talaq bill, and urged citizens to take a concerted effort to deal with the problem of population explosion in the country.

"It has not even been 10 weeks for the new government, but even in that duration a lot has been done", Modi said, listing three of his government's key legislative successes in the recently concluded budget session of Parliament.

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Thousands of protesters carrying placards gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London, demanding an end to the Indian government's brutalities in occupied Kashmir and lashing out at Modi's decision to revoke the disputed territory's special status. However, officials said on Wednesday that these restrictions had now been eased in the Hindu-majority Jammu region.

Kashmir is located in the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent. "We are working to keep prices under check and increase development", he added.

Pakistanis and residents of Pakistani-administered Kashmir on Thursday observed "the Black Day" in solidarity with Kashmiris in the Indian-controlled portion.

"It is good. Everyone will be benefited by this, because every common man will be able to work there and start business there", Singh said. We added $1 trillion to the economy in just five years.

The GST, which subsumed almost one-and-a-half dozen central and state taxes, brought to life the dream of "One Nation, One Tax" and the country has also achieved "One Nation, One Grid" in the energy sector while attempt is being made for "One Nation, One Mobility Card" for seamless travel across the country, he said.

"Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh will become a big inspiration for India's growth journey, comfort, progress and peace", he said.

The prime minister, whose Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide election victory in May, also announced the creation of a new chief of defense staff to coordinate security operations.

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