Leh: In his first attack on Islamabad after taking office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war against India, saying this had killed more soldiers than the numbers killed in all wars since 1947.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the officers, soldiers and air warriors of the Indian Armed Forces at Leh on August 12, 2014
Making his second visit to Jammu and Kashmir in less than two months, Modi also vowed to take the country's war against terrorism to "a logical conclusion".
Hopping from one venue to another before returning to the national capital, the prime minister announced Rs.8,000 crore to build four major road projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi, who became prime minister in May, said Pakistan was sponsoring a proxy war against India as it had lost the capacity to fight a conventional war.
"We have lost more soldiers during the proxy war than the country has during the conventional wars fought with Pakistan," he said, referring to Islamabad-backed terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of India.
Modi was addressing officers and soldiers posted at Siachen, the world's highest battlefield, at Leh, the capital of mountainous Ladakh. He later interacted with the soldiers.
He said his government was committed to making India self-reliant in defence manufacturing, building a strong armed forces, and equipping them with modern arms and technology.
Terrorism, he said, was a global problem and "all humanitarian forces of the world should unite to fight it. India is committed to strengthening and uniting these humanitarian forces".
A national war memorial would come up at Leh, Modi announced.
Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval accompanied the prime minister.
Modi addressed a public rally at Polo Ground in Leh town, where he inaugurated a 45 MW Nimoo-Bazgo hydro electric power project built on the Indus river in Alchi village, 70 km from here, through remote control.
Dressed in traditional Ladakhi gown and headgear, the prime minister also laid the foundation of a Rs.1,700 crore, 330-km Leh-Srinagar transmission line to be built by the National Grid Corp of India.
He said corruption and not shortage of developmental funds was destroying the edifice of the country.
"Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I promise we will fight corruption...
"There are also honest officers. We will work with them too. If we win the fight against corruption, we will win battle against poverty.
"From the mountain peaks of Ladakh I announce today that we will eradicate corruption from the country taking along all political parties ready to work with us against corruption," he added.
Addressing about 6,000 people at Kargil, Modi paid compliments to the region, the site of a India-Pakistan conflict in 1999. "Today I am hearing the sound of claps. When I came earlier, we heard the sound of guns."
He inaugurated a 44 MW Chutak hydro electric project in Kargil, built on the Suru river as a run-of-the-river project by the NHPC.
Modi told the Leh rally that after getting connected with the northern power grid, Ladakh would use electricity produced in the region.
Ladakh has "Prakash, Paryavaran and Paryatan" (Power, Environment and Tourism), the prime minister said.
"If these three are utilised properly, then the country will benefit... Development must be such that it transforms the lives of the common man."
Modi flew back to New Delhi in the afternoon.