Paying tributes to eight jawans who were killed in Monday's terrorist attack in Srinagar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday that the entire nation was united in the fight against terrorism and they (terrorists) would never succeed in their nefarious designs.
The PM, who arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said this in his address at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the 850-MW Ratle hydroelectric project at Kishtwar, about 350 km from Jammu. He was accompanied by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Prime Minister said while incidents of violence in 2012 were the lowest in the past two decades, but still there was a need to prevent incidents such as the Monday attack. During his previous visit to the state in June 2010, the PM, while asking Pakistan to help create an environment of peace, had also said that meaningful talks between the two countries were possible only if Pakistan didn't let its territory be used for acts of terror against India.
Singh said all policies for a better future of people of the state could only be successful if there was an atmosphere of democracy and participation in political and economic development.
Making an oblique reference to separatists, who had been boycotting elections, and asking them to come forward on this account, the PM said: "Elections at any level are the real reflection of people's desires and hopes. I appeal to all people that they should participate in this process so that we can collectively work for the better future of our young generation."
He assured full tapping of hydel power potential available in the state and also announced 150-MW additional power to the state to meet the increased demand during the current season.
The State Power Development Corporation had invited tariff-based international competitive bidding for the 850-MW project, estimated to be completed at a cost of Rs 5,500 crore.
The PM described the laying of the foundation of the power project as a new beginning in the state's endeavours to harness 14,000-MW power potential available in J&K. He said so far projects generating only 2,500 MW had come up in the state.
He stated that in 2004, the state was provided a Rs 37,000-crore package under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan for development of basic economic infrastructure, upgradation of essential services and to promote employment-generating activities, besides rehabilitation and resettlement of terrorism-affected people.
The PM said it was highly encouraging that out of 67 projects taken up under this package, 34 had been completed, while the implementation of the remaining ones was in full swing.
"Besides, projects worth Rs 1,000 crore are in the implementation phase for meeting development needs of Jammu and Ladakh regions," he said.