A confident Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh sent out a positive Independence Day message that he wants to resolve differences with Pakistan through dialogue, but much progress cannot be made unless terrorism emanating from its territory ends.
Following are the highlights of his speech delivered on the occasion of India's 64th Independence Day on Sunday: Naxalism is a serious challenge to our internal security. We will deal firmly with those who resort to violence. We will provide all possible help to State Governments to maintain the rule of law in areas affected by naxalism.
I once again appeal to naxalites to abjure violence, come for talks with the Government and join hands with us to accelerate social and economic development. It is imperative that Centre and States work together to meet the challenge of naxalism.
It would be very difficult for any State to tackle this problem without cooperation from the Centre and coordination between States. We all need to rise above our personal and political interests to meet this challenge. As I have stated earlier, most naxalite affected areas lag behind in developmentWe want to end the neglect of these areas.
I have asked the Planning Commission to formulate a comprehensive scheme towards this end, which we would implement fully. It is also our endeavour that our adivasi brothers and sisters join the mainstream of development. Apart from adequate compensation for land which is acquired from them, we should also ensure that our adivasi brothers and sisters have a stake in the developmental project being undertaken.
We have a special responsibility towards the States of the North East. I would like to convey to all political parties and groups of the North East that disputes in the name of State or tribe can only harm all of us. Discussion and dialogue are the only options to resolve complex issues. As far as the Central Government is concerned, we are ready to take forward every process of talks which could lead to progress in resolution of problems.
A few days back, many precious lives were lost in Laddakh due to a cloud burst. In this hour of grief, the whole country stands with the people of Laddakh. It is my assurance that the Central Government will do everything possible for rehabilitation of the affected people. In Jammu and Kashmir, we are ready to talk to every person or group which abjures violence. Kashmir is an integral part of India.
Within this framework, we are ready to move forward in any talks which would increase the partnership of the common man in governance and also enhance their welfare. India's democracy has the generosity and flexibility to be able to address the concerns of any area or group in the country. I recently participated in a meeting with political parties from Jammu and Kashmir.
We will endeavour to take this process forward. I would like to convey to our countrymen, especially our citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North East, that they should adopt democratic means to join hands with us for their and country's welfare. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India.
We have been emphasizing this in all our discussions with the Pakistan Government. If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan. The Commonwealth Games will start in Delhi after about one and a half months. I am convinced that all our countrymen will treat the Games as a national festival and will leave no stone unturned to make them a success.
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