After taking the salute and hoisting the tricolour at the Bakshi Stadium amid tight security, Abdullah praised Kashmiris for not letting the communal trouble to take a far more serious shape. (Agencies)
"I want to salute the people of the state for defeating forces who wanted to spread the tensions and vitiate peace and harmony in the state," he said.
"I am often asked why you (Kashmiris) consider yourselves separate from the country's mainstream. I have thought over this question, but an answer was difficult to find,” he said.
"When I found how the Kishtwar incident was exploited, I got the answer to the question. We are treated differently like we are not part of the mainstream," he added.
Abdullah made it clear that the Hindu-Muslim clashes in Kishtwar, which claimed three lives, deserved the "strongest condemnation". He said it was sad this incident took place during his administration.
The Chief Minister has been upset the way the Kishtwar flare-up has been used by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to attack the Jammu and Kashmir government and Abdullah.
Abdullah cited figures of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat during 2012 and up to March this year. He also spoke of the recent communal trouble in Bihar.
"For God's sake, tell me does anybody raise this issue in the Parliament? Did any big leader go to those places to express solidarity with the people there? How many newspaper columns were written about those incidents," he said.
“You want to scrap article 370 (of the Indian constitution) to integrate (Kashmir) fully with the rest of the country, but you treat us separately," the Chief Minister said.
"It will happen when you change your attitude," he added.
The Chief Minister also spoke of the continuing violations of the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control and the international border by Pakistani troops. He said as long as these violations continued, peace talks between the two countries would remain affected.
After taking the salute and hoisting the tricolour at the Bakshi Stadium amid tight security, Abdullah praised Kashmiris for not letting the communal trouble to take a far more serious shape.