Jammu: Referring to the completion of two years of UPA-II government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday asserted that the Centre adopted a tough and non-negotiable posture on the terror front.

She said that the UPA government at the Centre also took steps towards promoting peace and initiating dialogue with its neighbours and it is pursuing a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism.

“We have adopted a strong and non-negotiable posture on terrorism. There is no tolerance to terror. At the same time, we have taken steps towards peace and opening dialogue with our neighbours," Sonia Gandhi said in a rally after laying the foundation-stone of a bridge on river Ravi at Basohli, 230-km from here.

During its seven-year reign, the UPA government has several achievements to its credit including strengthening of secular forces, Gandhi said.

“Besides peace initiatives, we have taken several steps on the economic front, strengthening of weaker sections of society and improving the lot of women", she said.

Union Ministers A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Farooq Abdullah, M Pallam Raju, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and JKPCC head Saifuddin Soz were also present at the rally.

Sonia congratulates people of J&K for voting

Meanwhile, she also appreciated the participation of people of Jammu and Kashmir in the panchayat elections by showing courage and voting in large numbers despite threats from militants.

"I want to congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for taking part in panchayat elections in large numbers in spite of difficulties and threats," Gandhi said.

"Panchayat is a foundation of the democracy. You (the people of J and K) have come forward openly for voting (in the panchayat elections). The way you have exercised and are exercising your rights to vote is a gift and a lesson to those who by their acts want to terrorise and weaken us," she said.

Expressing her support for various issues concerning peace and development in the state, Gandhi said, "The entire country is saluting you (the people of J and K) for your courage and bravery in fighting cross-border terrorism".

She further said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah were working in close coordination to ensure peace, development and prosperity of the state.

Referring to the employment package announced by the Central government for Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi said, "I want to tell you that the Central government has made a new programme to provide one lakh jobs to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in next 3-5 years. Under this package, boys and girls would be trained in various skills and courses for ensuring their employment."

(Agencies)