Since they could not visit their families in the Valley, the Chief Minister’s invitation for lunch came as a surprise to them.
Assuring them that he was confident things would improve in Kashmir soon, the Chief Minister greeted youngsters with best wishes for early normalcy. “We can’t replace your families, but I hope you consider us as your family too”, he said assuring students of safety and security in Punjab.
The Chief Minister said it was his heartfelt desire to share the Eid festivities with them. Singh said he was confident that their families back home were safe and well, and they would be able to meet them soon.
Singh said though he had not been to Kashmir for some time due to his busy political schedule, he considered the beautiful Valley his second home.
Reciprocating the Chief Minister’s sentiments, the students said they too considered Punjab their second home and always felt safe even after the Pulwama attack. “We have seen that Punjabis have big heart,” said Faiq Salem.
“Coming here today reminds us of our families,” said Farzana Hafeez, a student, admitting till they received the invitation they were feeling lonely at the thought of not being home for Eid.
Another student thanked Singh for hearing their voice.
As a memento of love and respect, the students presented to the Chief Minister a portrait sketched by Abdul Azad, a fine arts Kashmiri student from Chandigarh University.
Singh also gave sweets to students to celebrate the occasion.