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Pak must not allow its territory to be used by terrorists: PM

india Updated: Dec 14, 2008 16:14 IST

In the backdrop of mounting tension between the two neighbours, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said India wanted normalisation of relations with Pakistan, but only after Islamabad prevents its territory from being used to attack this country.

Addressing an election rally here, the Prime Minister said the country was committed to resolving all bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue.

But, this is not possible unless Pakistan prevents its territory from being used by "certain elements" to carry out terrorist acts against India, he said.

"Our silence should not be misconstrued as our weakness," Singh told the well-attended rally.

He said it was clear that there are certain elements in Pakistan who were involved in the Mumbai terror strikes.

"Our fight against terrorism will continue," he asserted.

Singh said "we cannot change the borders but lessen the restrictions on travel between the two countries.

"More links with Pakistan would be reopened for greater people-to-people contacts and to improve trade relations," he said.

Congratulating the people of Jammu and Kashmir for coming out in good numbers to exercise their franchise in the Assembly elections, the Prime Minister said it showed that people have faith in democracy.

"It shows that they (the people) have faith in democracy. A new government will be formed within a few days and you should exercise your right to choose your candidates after due thought," Singh said.

The Prime Minister extended Eid greetings to the people and said "the sacrifices we rendered during the festivities would benefit us in the coming days."

He asked people to elect the Congress back to power in the state as it is the premier political party of the country, having vast experience and is well versed with the problems being faced by the people and knows how to mitigate them.

Singh said Congress will live up to the expectations of the people and provide employment and stipend to the unemployed youth till they get jobs.

"I have great affection for people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am always happy to come here," the Prime Minister said.

Singh said the state achieved progress in each sphere of life during the three-year Congress rule led by Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Apparently referring to the withdrawal of support to Azad Government by the PDP in June, Singh said "our government was toppled and this impeded the pace of development in the state.

"The new government which will be formed after elections should intensify the development works. Whatever has been left incomplete would have to be completed by the new government," Singh said.

Singh referred to the Rs 24,000 crore reconstruction programme for Jammu and Kashmir and said 20,000 people were provided jobs through Anganwari and recruitments in state police and power projects.

"We want more and more electricity to be generated so as to benefit the people as well as the state. Industralisation will also grow with power generation," the Prime Minister said.

On the project to connect Jammu region and Kashmir Valley through rail, he said the 60-km rail link from Anantnag to Rajeshwar has been made operational and work on the remaining portion was going on.

"Work on Mughal road, the alternate route to Srinagar-Jammu National highway, was initiated in 2006. Work on 70-km stretch of the total 84-km road has been completed," he said.

"I am informed that some light vehicles moved on the road on December 4," he said, adding the road would be thrown open to traffic shortly.

He also listed out the Central projects being implemented in the state.

As many as 8,000 Anganwari centres were sanctioned for J-K, he said, adding that the Centre has also announced that medical colleges in Srinagar and Jammu will be upgraded on par with the AIIMS in Delhi.