Pakistan must disallow use of its land for terrorism: PM


Shangus (Jammu and Kashmir) : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear Sunday that India’s desire to normalise relations with Pakistan could not be fulfilled unless Pakistan disallows use of its land for terrorist activities against India.

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“Pakistan must keep its situation under control. There are people there who are always ready to carry out bloody attacks against our country,” Manmohan Singh told a Congress poll rally here.

He was speaking in the backdrop of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in which more than 170 people were killed. India has blamed elements in Pakistan for the strike.

The prime minister said India wanted to improve relations with Pakistan, but this could only be achieved through mutual wisdom and co-operation.

“All issues including Jammu and Kashmir can be resolved through dialogue. Borders cannot be changed, but restrictions over them can be reduced and their significance brought down.

“People are now coming here from Pakistan occupied Kashmir to meet their relations and people also go across from here. Trade routes have been opened up and we are exploring the possibility of opening up more routes,” he said.

The prime minister said long years of terrorism had left death and destruction in its wake in Kashmir.

“We announced a re-construction programme for militancy affected families of Rs.2,600 crore (Rs.26 billion).

“Electric power projects were started in Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years of Congress rule here. We also announced setting up of an Indian Institute of Management and a Central University in Kashmir.

“The status of the two medical college hospitals in the Valley and in Jammu has been raised to the level of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),” he said.

Seeking votes for Congress candidate, Gulzar Ahmad, who has been fielded from this south Kashmir constituency where voting will be held Dec 17, the prime minister made an emotional appeals to the voters.

“We started construction of the Mughal Road between south Kashmir and the Jammu region with Rs.640 crore (Rs.6.4 billion). Of the 84 km of this road, 70 km is ready and even a jeep run was carried out on this road recently.

“In our re-construction programme for militancy affected families we made provisions for pensions to widows and scholarships to orphans.

“We are hearing of demands of self-rule and autonomy being made in the Valley. I must remind you that it was the Congress government that through constitutional amendments 73 and 74 brought in the concept of self-governance to village and district levels.

“Autonomy and self-rule is also possible if the Congress is brought back to power by you in Jammu and Kashmir,” Manmohan Singh told the people.

He congratulated the people of the Valley for their overwhelming participation in the elections so far.

“This proves that you have full faith in democracy and with the power of your vote a new government would be in office in the state in the next few days,” he said.

Union Water Resources Minister and chief of the state Congress unit, Professor Saifuddin Soz, former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress general secretary Prithvi Raj Chavan accompanied the prime minister during his visit to south Kashmir.

He is to address an election rally in the Jammu region later.