In a strong attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused it of continuing proxy war of terrorism against India, saying it has 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 said while addressing troops of Army and the Indian Air Force on his maiden trip to Leh and Ladakh.
This is the first sharp attack on Pakistan by Modi after assuming office over two months back and comes in the midst of his peace initiatives. Modi had invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other SAARC leaders for his swearing-in on May 26.
His remarks came close on the heels of India's mounting concerns over repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan and increasing number of militant attacks in Kashmir, the latest carried out last night on a BSF convoy at Pampore in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, leaving eight personnel including an officer injured.
The Prime Minister said the Indian armed forces were suffering more casualties from terrorism than from war.
Noting that this is a global problem, the Prime Minister said all humanitarian forces of the world should unite to fight it.
"India is committed to strengthening and uniting these humanitarian forces," he said.
Modi, who is on a second trip to Jammu and Kashmir in two months, said India was committed to strong armed forces, well-equipped with modern arms and technology.
The Prime Minister later flew to Kargil where he held out the assurance that his government was committed to the welfare of displaced Kashmiri Pandits, refugees from West Pakistan and kin of those killed in terrorist violence.
"See the condition of Jammu and Kashmir where 20 per cent of the population is displaced. We want to settle these displaced people and give them opportunity of their livelihood," Modi said while inaugurating the 44 MW Chutak hydro-power project.
The Prime Minister said the Centre was committed to include this 20 per cent population becoming a party in changing the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir.
"More than 2 lakh displaced are refugees from West Pakistan, over one lakh displaced are...More than 4 lakh are Kashmiri Pandits over eight to ten lakh are those who lost their families in terrorist attacks. These are also our brothers and sisters and we have to think about them," he said.
He is the first Prime Minister to visit the sensitive Kargil region since the conflict in 1999 following Pakistan army's incursion.
India and Pakistan had agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. But despite the truce, firing along the Line of Control has escalated in the last few months.
Modi said the Government would provide Rs 8,000 crore additional funding for pending road projects in the state.
The jawans should be assured that the entire country supports them, the Prime stressed earlier in Leh.
The Prime Minister said soldiers remain undeterred inspite of the many negatives and struggles that their families face in day-to-day life and this energy and sense of duty inspires him and, therefore, he keeps visiting jawans on the border to seek inspiration.
Modi promised the troops that a National War Memorial would be built that would inspire future generations of India.
He also told the defence personnel that the government is committed to making India self-reliant in defence manufacturing.
Citing the Kargil infiltration, about which the first information was given by a shepherd named Tashi Namgyal, he said the country's armed forces deployed in border areas are well-connected with the people who live there.
Modi interacted with the troops and wrote in the visitor's book that peace and security are a pre-requisite for development.
During his day's hectic schedule, the Prime Minister inaugurated Nimoo Bazgo hydro-electric project and Leh-Kargil-Srinagar transmission system.
The Prime Minister underlined his government's resolve to fight graft which has "ruined" the country.
"Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I assure that we will fight corruption and work with all those against graft. Corruption has ruined the country. I promise that we will fight against corruption with full might."
Modi said the government is willing to take along all anti-corruption forces, political parties and its leaders and honest officer in its fight to end graft.
"There are also honest officers. We will work with them too. If we win the fight against corruption we will win battle against poverty," he said addressing a rally at Polo ground which was attended by nearly 10,000 people.
Dressed in traditional Ladakhi attire, Modi said government will do its best to bring a 'kesar' (saffron) revolution in Jammu and Kashmir giving impetus to its production.
"We need to bring a saffron revolution that is giving impetus to kesar. Special attention should be placed to farmers," he said.
He said three Ps--Prakash (solar light), Prayawaran (environment) and Paryatan (tourism) are the assets of Jammu and Kashmir and all efforts would be taken for their development.
Modi said there was was a time when PMs never visited this state and he has come here two times already.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh were among those present on the occasion.