New Delhi, Aug 15 : Following is the final part of the text of Prime inister Manmohan Singh's address from the Red Fort on the occasion of the nation's 62nd Independence Day:
Brothers and Sisters,
Our ancient Himalayas are under environmental threat. If the Himalayan glaciers recede, the flow of water in our sacred rivers will go down. Climate change can disrupt our economy in several ways. Some of our coastal areas could be submerged. Our monsoon pattern may change. We need long-term solutions to such threats. A national consensus is also required for the Government to evolve effective policies to deal with these problems.
Our government has come forward with a National Action Plan on Climate Change. This plan shows how each of us must adapt our ways of working and living and how we must treat our natural resources, so that our carbon emissions remain within reasonable limits and our environment is protected.
My fellow countrymen,
Our goal in South Asia is to seek a peaceful, stable and prosperous neighbourhood. We seek to accelerate the pace of social and economic development in our country and our region, while safeguarding our national security. Our foreign policy has been based on these principles.
We wish all our neighbours well. We welcome the strengthening of democratic forces in our neighbourhood, especially in Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. The recent blasts in our rmbassy in Kabul have cast a shadow over our efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan and to bring a lasting and honourable peace in our region. I have personally conveyed my concern and disappointment to the Government of Pakistan.
If this issue of terrorism is not addressed, all the good intentions that we have for our two peoples to live in peace and harmony will be negated. We will not be able to pursue the peace initiatives we want to take. The terrorists and those who support them are enemies of the people of India and Pakistan, of friendship between the two countries and of peace in the region and the world. We must defeat them.
In the last year we have strengthened our relations with the major powers, Latin American countries, Arab countries and African countries. We will continue our efforts in this direction, keeping in view our national interests.
India is today viewed with respect as one of the world's fastest growing economies. People of Indian Origin are engaged in diverse activities around the world and their capabilities are recognized the world over. Their achievements inspire us. The world today expects India to regain its due place in the comity of nations. This is a moment of opportunity for us.
We are rapidly marching forward to regain our rightful place in the comity of nations. But to reach that goal we have a lot of work to do at home. We have to overcome each of the challenges I have spoken about. We have to forge a greater unity of purpose between various political parties, between different communities, between all sections of our society, rich and poor.
We have to manage our natural and financial resources more prudently. We have an obligation to our future generations. We cannot think only for ourselves. We cannot think only about survival from day to day, from year to year and from one election to another. We have to think about the welfare and well-being of our children and grandchildren, their grandchildren and future generations.
If we resolve to work together as a nation, and work hard and with commitment to the welfare of all our people, there is nothing that we cannot do.
Let us resolve today to stand together, to strengthen the unity and integrity of our country and to stand firm in our determination to build a new India of our dreams.
My dear children, please join me in saying Jai Hind!