Decrease in terror activities in J-K shows public cooperation can be effective: President

New Delhi [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Noting that the government was working with full strength and determination to free the country from the scourge of terrorism, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday said that decrease in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir demonstrates that public cooperation can be effective in the fight against terrorism.

In his address to the joint sitting of two Houses of Parliament, he said alertness on the part of the citizens is extremely helpful in view of the changing nature of terrorism.

"My Government is working with full strength and determination to free the country from the scourge of terrorism. In view of the changing nature of terrorism, alertness on the part of the citizens is extremely helpful. The decrease in terrorist activities in Jammu Kashmir demonstrates that public cooperation can be effective in the fight against terrorism," he said.

The President said the government has given the security forces a free hand in taking strongest measures against those indulging in terrorism.

"The security situation in the northeast has also improved significantly due to the concerted efforts of the government. The geographical spread of Naxalism is also steadily shrinking," he said.

Kovind said the government was making defence forces "stronger, more effective and modern".

"In these evolving times, to meet the new and complex challenges related to the defence of the country, my government is working to make the defence forces stronger, more effective and modern, he said.

The President said that the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and creation of the Department of Military Affairs are steps in this direction.

"This will also improve coordination among the three services while speeding up their modernisation and process of making them self-reliant," he said.

The President said the government was fully attentive to the requirements of security forces, including adequate armaments, safety equipment and bullet-proof jackets.

"Manufacture of state-of-the-art AK 203 rifles, in collaboration with Russia, will commence in the Ordnance Factory at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Recently, when the Naval Prototype of Tejas landed and took off from INS Vikramaditya, every Indian was filled with pride. The Government has also taken historic steps in enhancing space security," he said.

Referring to foreign policy, he said it is a vital ingredient of the country's economic and strategic security.

"We are stimulating economic growth and prosperity by increasing connectivity with our neighbouring countries. `Neighbourhood First' policy is our priority. Apart from our neighbours, we have also strengthened relations with other countries of the world. This is why a number of countries have bestowed their highest honour on India. Our cooperation with ASEAN and African countries is being taken to a new level," he said.

The President said that the objective of India's space programme has always been service to humanity.

"Due to the tireless work of the country's space scientists, Chandrayaan-2 has stimulated a new interest in technology among the country's youth. My Government has already approved Chandrayaan-3. ISRO is also working expeditiously on the manned spacecraft programme - Gaganyaan, as well as Aditya-1 Mission," he said. (ANI)