India united against terror: PM

Asserts peace, tranquillity essential for development

A day after the killing of eight soldiers by militants in Srinagar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday vowed that India is firmly united against terrorism.

“I would like to salute the Army jawans who lost their lives in Monday’s terror attack in Srinagar. We are determined to fight terrorism and terror groups will never succeed,” said Singh. He was speaking after laying the foundation of the 850 MW GVK Ratle power project in the Kishtwar area of Jammu division.

While paying tributes to the soldiers killed on Monday, he said: “The entire country is standing united against the terrorists. They will not succeed in their design.”

Asserting that peace and tranquillity were essential for development, the prime minister said the situation was turning around in the state and 2012 recorded the least violence in the last two decades.

Singh said there was a need to instil confidence among the people and ensure their involvement in development and administrative affairs.

Listing the developmental activities underway in the state, the prime minister said the Centre and the state governments were committed to restoring peace for sustainable development. He said in 2004, the state was provided with a Rs 37,000-crore package under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan for development of basic economic infrastructure and upgradation of essential services, besides promoting employment generating activities and rehabilitation and resettlement of terrorism-affected people.

The prime minister, who arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday along with United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, later visited the injured soldiers undergoing treatment at Base Hospital, Badami Bagh cantonment.

They met the soldiers, enquired after their health and praised them for their bravery and dedication to service. They were accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Rajya Sabha member Ambika Soni.

Sonia Gandhi strongly condemned the attack on a military convoy in Srinagar and expressed her condolence over the death of eight Army personnel in the incident.

In the evening, the prime minister released a postal stamp bearing the picture of renowned Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor.

On Wednesday, Singh and Gandhi will jointly flag off the first train on the 18-km stretch between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir around 11:50 am, marking the start of rail service in the Valley.

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