Pakistan Must Walk Away from Terror for Talks with India: Modi
Express News Global
Published: January 18, 2017
NEW DELHI — In a clear message amidst the chill of bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Pakistan to walk away from terror if it wants to have dialogue with India Jan. 17.
Outlining his approach for an integrated neighborhood, Modi said his vision for the country’s neighborhood puts a premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with the entirety of South Asia.
“But India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India,” he said while addressing the participants at the government’s geo-political flagship initiative, Raisina Dialogue.
There is a deep chill in Indian-Pakistani ties due to a series of cross-border strikes, including strikes in Pathankot and Uri by Pakistan-based terror groups.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan, the prime minister also asserted that India’s belief in delinking terrorism from religion, and rejecting artificial distinctions between good and bad terrorism, is now a global talking point.
“And those in our neighborhood who support violence, perpetrate hatred, and export terror stand isolated and ignored,” he said.
Referring to India’s ties with China, Modi, at the opening of the three-day Raisina Dialogue, said it was not “unnatural” for two large neighboring powers to have some differences, but both sides should show some sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests.
“I see the development of India and China as an unprecedented opportunity, for our two countries and for the whole world. At the same time, it is not unnatural for two large neighboring powers to have some differences,” said Modi.
“In the management of our relationship, and for peace and progress in the region, both our countries need to show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests,” he added before stating that he and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, have sought to tap the vast area of commercial and business opportunities in the relationship.
Asserting that this century belongs to Asia, he said that the sharpest trajectory of change is in the continent and that there is a large number of vibrant pools of progress and prosperity that dot the landscape of this region.
“But, rising ambition and festering rivalries are generating visible stress points. The steady increase in military power, resources and wealth in the Asia-Pacific has raised the stakes for its security. Therefore, the security architecture in the region must be open, transparent, balanced and inclusive. And promote dialogue and predictable behavior rooted in international norms and respect for sovereignty,” he said.
In his address, the prime minister gave a run-down of India’s foreign policy priorities, security interests in the Indian Ocean, and bilateral engagement with neighboring countries, the Gulf nations and major powers including the U.S., China and Russia.
He also emphasized that “Sab Ka Saath; Sab Ka Vikas” is not just a vision for India but a belief for the whole world.