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Modi: $12 Billion Aid Package for Kashmir

  • VOA News

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Srinagar, Nov. 7, 2015. Modi pledged $12.10 billion in funds to bolster development and economic growth in Kashmir, a year after the worst flooding in more than a century destroyed half a million h

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Srinagar, Nov. 7, 2015. Modi pledged $12.10 billion in funds to bolster development and economic growth in Kashmir, a year after the worst flooding in more than a century destroyed half a million h

India's prime minister has announced a $12 billion economic aid package for the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Narendra Modi promised the financial assistance Saturday on a visit to Srinagar. The region's main city was under a security lockdown to prevent protests.

The Indian leader said he wanted to restore Kashmir to its "former glory" and "build a new Kashmir, a powerful Kashmir."

Modi's visit to Srinagar comes a little more than a year after a flood in Kashmir that killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless.

Modi avoided talking about politics in his speech in the restive area, but opposition leaders were still critical.

"Only providing promised right to self-determination will change the fate of Kashmir, not mere economic packages," said separatist leader Ayed Ali Geelani.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, though both nations claim the region in its entirety.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two wars over the region since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

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