Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi said in a speech made during his visit to Leh that the Siachen Glacier was non-negotiable as he held Pakistan responsible for continuing proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir in which India has lost more soldiers than all wars combined.
He promised Rs 8,000-crore package to build better roads connecting major cities in Jammu & Kashmir. He also laid the foundation stone of the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar power grid. It would be completed by 2017 at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore, with the Centre funding 95% of the cost.
Modi’s stance on Siachen matches those of successive Army Chiefs, who had held that withdrawing from the glacier would be ‘hara-kiri’ as it would allow the Pakistan-China combine to cut off northern Ladakh.
The glacier is in India’s possession since 1984. Pakistan had, in the past, suggested demilitarization of the 2,600 square km glacier.
PM Modi promised:
- Completion of Leh-Kargil-Srinagar power grid by 2017 at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore, with Centre funding 95% of the cost.
- ‘One rank one pension’ to be effected
- National war memorial to be built
- 3 Ps to develop Ladakh: Prakash (light), Paryavaran (environment), Paryatan (tourism)
- Special attention to ‘kesar’ grown in Valley, ‘pashmina’ and solar energy schemes.