PM raps Pak for proxy war

Modi says no compromise on Siachen Glacier

PM raps Pak for proxy war

In his first attack on Pakistan after becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed the neighbouring country for waging a proxy war of terrorism against India, having lost the strength to fight a conventional war.

“The neighbouring country has lost the strength to fight a conventional war but continues to engage in the proxy war of terrorism,” he told soldiers and officers of the Army and Air Force in Leh, 434 km from here. He added that troops were suffering more casualties from terrorism than war.

On a day-long visit to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir to inaugurate a few power projects, Modi asserted that his government would never compromise on the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield India has controlled since 1984.

The speech was in contrast to the prime minister’s earlier stand when he surprised observers by inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony in May to bolster ties with the neighbouring country.

Asserting that his government was committed to making India self-reliant in defence manufacturing and having a strong and well-equipped Army, he spoke of the provisions in the Union Budget towards modernisation and welfare of the armed forces, including “One Rank One Pension”: “Jawans should be assured that the entire country is behind them.”

Modi said his government was committed to “3 Ps” for J&K, including prakash (electricity), paryavaran (environment) and paryatan (tourism). “Development should bring change in the lives of the people and energy plays an important role in that,” he said, announcing funding of four roads in J&K at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore.

Modi announced that he wants to connect all regions of the country with Jammu and Kashmir by road, rail, electricity grid and telecommunications. “In the past, PMs rarely used to visit J&K. But I’ve come twice in two months  because of your love,” he added.

Modi who later flew to neighbouring Kargil town, the first prime minister to visit the region since the 1999 conflict with Pakistan, interacted with the troops there and wrote in the visitor’s book that peace and security were a pre-requisite for development.

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