India fully equipped to tackle Pakistan: Farooq
LEH: Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that India has always stood for cordial and friendly relations with all its neighbours ,particularly Pakistan in order to maintain peaceful atmosphere in the sub-continent. He, however, regretted that Pakistan was not reciprocating in the same manner and had indulged in various Kargil like misadventures in past.
Inaugurating a newly created Rural Development Block at Kharu, about 35 kilometers from here, Dr Abdullah in his speech at a public gathering , said that the over tunes of peace by India should not be construed as our weakness. " India is fully equipped to give a befitting reply if Pakistan again indulged in Kargil like misadventure", the Chief Minister said.
Dr Abdullah asserted that Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee has always extended his hand of friendship towards Pakistan, but it was unfortunate that they did not reciprocate to our friendship gesture and improve bilateral relations between the two countries. He cautioned the people of Ladakh and the Army against the evil designs of Pakistan Government, who he said, was still aiding and abetting militancy to create disturbances in our State. He, however, maintained that India is well equipped to tackle Pak misadventures.
Referring to the State Autonomy Committee report, Dr Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain the same in future also. " However, some political circles were creating misgivings about the Autonomy Report", the Chief Minister said, without naming any political party.
He made it clear that the autonomy didnít mean secession from the country, but was aimed at strengthening the relations with the Centre and the rest of the nation.
Lauding the role of Ladakh Scouts during Kargil conflict, Dr Abdullah said that their sacrifices in defending the countryís borders brought them laurels from the countrymen. He said that the nation was proud of these valiant and brave soldiers and will always remember their sacrifices.
He distributed an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh to the next of the kin of late Tsering Phuntsog of Ladakh Scouts who laid down his life during Kargil conflict. The Chief Minister also handed over orders of compassionate appointment in favour of the next of kin of seven deceased Army personnel of Leh district.
On the occasion , he assured that Ice Hockey Stadium will be constructed at Leh to further promote winter sports in the region, which will also help boost tourism activities in the area.
Speaking on the occasion, Ch Mohd Ramzan,Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Cooperatives said that additional funds to the tune of Rs 12 crore will be provided to Ladakh region under Desert Development Project, which will be spent in next five years. For implementation of the Project, Leh district has been divided into 48 water sheds and in each shed, Rs 25 lakh will be spent.
The Minister said that Fruit and vegetable Mandi will be established in Leh , for which land has been identified. He further said that projects worth Rs six crore have been submitted to the Centre for funding various schemes.
The function was also addressed by Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Tsetat Namgyal, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Kushak Togdan Rinpoche and Mr Thiksay Lama , Member Parliament.
Earlier, on his arrival, Dr Abdullah was accorded a warm and rousing reception. People from civil administration, Army, men and women in traditional dresses were also present on the occasion. Later, the Chief Minister was taken in a procession from Leh to Kharu.