Prime Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the era of violence was “coming to an end” in Jammu and Kashmir and that the people wanted “peace and peaceful resolution of all problems".
“The era of violence and terrorism (in Jammu and Kashmir) is coming to an end. The public sentiment is for peace and for a peaceful resolution of all problems,” Manmohan Singh said.
He was addressing a large public gathering on the inaugural of new train service in the Kashmir valley that will connect the south Kashmir Qazigund town with Srinagar and other parts in the north of the valley.
The prime minister's remarks echoed the recent union home ministry report which said the violence graph was at its lowest now.
According the ministry, the number of violent incidents fell to 707 this year from 3,041 in the previous in the state where nearly 70,000 people have died in the two-decade old separatist war.
The decline in the levels of violence followed heavy participation of people in the state assembly elections in November December last year and April-May Lok Sabha elections this year.
“As militancy declined, trade, business and tourism began to pick up (in the valley),” the prime minister said, praying that the “future will bring a new era of peace, reconciliation and development".
'Hold Kashmir local elections quickly'
Jammu and Kashmir needs to hold its local bodies elections quickly to bring in people in development planning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.
"I would urge that the elections to local bodies be held quickly," the prime minister told a public rally before inaugurating a train service linking the southern and northern parts of the state.
He said local elections "will increase the people's participation in the processes of development".
Assembly polls were held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2008 and the Lok Sabha elections this year.