Manmohan Announces Rs 24,000 Cr To Kashmir
17 November 2004
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Reaching out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday offered to hold unconditional talks with 'anyone and everyone' who abjure violence and announced Rs 24,000 crore for economic revival plan while promising to build a new Kashmir of peace, hope and prosperity.As reduction of troops began in the state coinciding with his maiden visit, the Prime Minister said if the conditions improved and infiltration was brought under control there could be further cut in troops deployment. Sharing the grief and hardship faced by the people of the militancy hit state, he told a well attended public rally, 'I have a dream and a firm belief that we can and we shall build a new Kashmir which will become a symbol of peace, hope and prosperity.' 'Our government is committed to an unconditional dialogue with anyone and everyone in the state who abjures violence,' Singh said at the rally. He made a similar statement at a convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir university. 'We will talk to all those who have concern for Kashmiris. My doors are open to those who want to meet me to usher in peace. I have no conditions but their intention should be genuine,' he said in his 20- minute speech at the rally. Announcing a Rs 24,000 crore economic revival plan, the Prime Minister promised to help the state in ending the problem of unemployment and work for building infrastructure and bringing in new investment.