Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday told Pakistan that normalisation of relations between the two counties would depend upon Islamabad’s action against terrorists on its soil.
Manmohan Singh, who became the first PM in 21 years in the Valley, and in 12 years in the Jammu region, to campaign in elections, declared: “Our silence and good intentions to improve relations with Pakistan should not be mistaken as our weakness. We are determined to fight terrorism and defeat it decisively.”
He congratulated the people for participating in the ongoing Assembly elections. “You deserve to be congratulated for this feat and reposing faith in Indian democracy,” the PM said.
In Anantnag, addressing about 7,000 people, the Singh said: “We want normal relations with Pakistan. We will open more links with Pakistan for greater people-to-people contact. We would like improvement in trade relations as well.” But he insisted “this is possible only after Pakistan prevents its territory from being used for attacks against India”.
Singh said violence was a crime against humanity, and called upon the militants to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream. Addressing them as “young friends”, he said: “You know that violence will lead you nowhere. It only causes death and destruction. All issues — political or financial — can be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means.”
He promised prosperity in Kashmir if the Congress was voted to power. “If you vote for the Congress, every person in the state would get employment,” he said.
Union Water Resources Minister and JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also spoke on the occasion.