Leh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed Pakistan for continuing its proxy war of terrorism against India, saying it has lost the strength to fight a conventional war.
"The neighbouring country has lost the strength to fight a conventional war, but continues to engage in the proxy war of terrorism," he said while addressing troops of Army and the Indian Air Force on his maiden trip to Leh and Ladakh.
The Prime Minister said the Indian armed forces were suffering more casualties from terrorism than from war. Noting that this is a global problem, the Prime Minister said all humanitarian forces of the world should unite to fight it.
"India is committed to strengthening and uniting these humanitarian forces," he said.
The Prime Minister's comments came close on the heels of militants attacking a BSF convoy at Pampore in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, leaving eight personnel including an officer injured.
Modi, who is on a second trip to Jammu and Kashmir in two months, said India was committed to strong armed forces, well-equipped with modern arms and technology.
The jawans should be assured that the entire country supports them, he stressed.
The Prime Minister said soldiers remain undeterred inspite of the many negatives and struggles that their families face in day-to-day life and this energy and sense of duty inspires him and, therefore, he keeps visiting jawans on the border to seek inspiration.
Modi promised the troops that a National War Memorial would be built that would inspire future generations of India.
He also told the defence personnel that the government is committed to making India self-reliant in defence manufacturing.
Citing the Kargil infiltration, about which the first information was given by a shepherd named Tashi Namgyal, he said the country's armed forces deployed in border areas are well-connected with the people who live there.
Modi interacted with the troops and wrote in the visitor's book that peace and security are a pre-requisite for development.
During his day's hectic schedule, the Prime Minister inaugurated Nimoo Bazgo hydro-electric project and Leh-Kargil-Srinagar transmission system.
The Prime Minister underlined his government's resolve to fight graft which has "ruined" the country.
"Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I assure that we will fight corruption and work with all those against graft. Corruption has ruined the country. I promise that we will fight against corruption with full might," he said.
Modi said the government is willing to take along all anti-corruption forces, political parties and its leaders and honest officer in its fight to end graft.
"There are also honest officers. We will work with them too. If we win the fight against corruption we will win battle against poverty," he said addressing a rally at Polo ground here, which was attended by nearly 10,000 people.
Dressed in traditional Ladakhi attire, Modi said government will do its best to bring a 'kesar' (saffron) revolution in Jammu and Kashmir giving impetus to its production.
"We need to bring a saffron revolution that is giving impetus to kesar. Special attention should be placed to farmers," he said.
"We have put Leh at the focus of our solar energy initiatives. We have to connect every corner of the country through power, rail, road and telecommunication," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said development must be such that it positively transforms the lives of the common people.
He said three Ps--Prakash (solar light), Prayawaran (environment) and Paryatan (tourism) are the assets of Jammu and Kashmir and all efforts would be taken for their development.
"We have kept Ladakh at the centre of our solar energy policy. Now you will not live on borrowed power. You will live on your own solar powered electricity," he said.
He said government is planning special projects including large-scale organic farming for the development of all Himalayan states including.
"I am fortunate to have worked for the party organisation in Jammu and Kashmir. I used to visit the state often. I know the problems people face and most importantly I know the strength of this land," he said.
Modi said there was a time when PMs never visited this state and he has come here two times already as Ladakh's affection draws him here.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh were among those present on the occasion.
Modi's visit to the two high-altitude Himalayan town—his second to Jammu and Kashmir after assuming office--is expected to touch on demands of locals in Leh and Kargil including employment generation and an assurance to take up with China and Pakistan respectively the issue of opening of Mansarovar road from Leh and re-opening of Kargil-Skardu road.
Leh town was all decked up to welcome the Prime Minister with hoardings been erected at various places and BJP's Lotus flag seen prominently at various traffic intersections.
BJP bagged the Ladakh parliamentary constituency for the first time this year when its candidate Thupstan Chhewang won the seat by a slender margin of 36 votes.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. He was received at the airport by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Army Chief General D S Suhag and other senior officials.
BJP will be trying hard to win at least a couple of assembly seats from Ladakh parliamentary constituency which sends four MLAs to the state assembly. The elections for the state assembly are due towards the end of this year. People in Kargil are hoping that the Prime Minister will address some of their long pending demands like construction of the Zojjila Tunnel, Airport, opening of Kargil Skardu Road and establishing High Altitude Sports Authority of India Campus for Sports like Ice Hockey.
A National Adventure School and a Doordarshan kendra in Kargil and employment avenues for youths in Army and Para Military Forces are among other demands. The two projects which have already started generation are expected to solve a lot of power woes of the border state but only after the transmission line from Leh to Srinagar is completed.
Watch live: Narendra Modi's visit to Leh