The conference is being attended by around 250 foreign participants from 65 nations
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said “India alone cannot walk the path of peace” and that “Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India”.
In another reference, this time without naming that country, he also said “those in our neighbourhood who support violence, perpetrate hatred, and export terror stand isolated and ignored”. On China — in an apparent reference to Beijing’s blocking India’s NSG membership bid as well as the Masood Azhar issue, Modi said “both our countries need to show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests”.
These comments are seen as a clear message by New Delhi to both Islamabad and Beijing to mend their ways if they want to engage strongly with India. While China has been backing its all-weather friend Pakistan at all global fora at India’s cost, Pakistan continues to back terrorism in both India and Afghanistan.
Speaking at the inauguration of the second edition of the “Raisina Dialogue” — India’s flagship geo-political conference held annually organised by the external affairs ministry and think tank Observer Research Foundation — here Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister said: “My vision for our neighbourhood puts a premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision led me to invite leaders of all Saarc nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing-in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. 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 a dialogue with India.”
He further said: “Our strong belief in delinking terrorism from religion, and rejecting artificial distinctions between good and bad terrorism, are now a global talking point. And those in our neighbourhood who support violence, perpetrate hatred, and export terror stand isolated and ignored.” Later, the MEA said India wants the “peace of the garden, not that of the graveyard”.
The theme of this year’s conference is “The New Normal: Multilateralism With Multi-Polarity”.
On China, Modi said: “In our engagement with China, as President Xi and I agreed, we have sought to tap the vast area of commercial and business opportunities in the relationship. 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 neighbouring powers to have some differences. 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.”
It may be recalled that Beijing has been blocking India’s membership bid at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), besides also blocking India’s move to get Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM’s chief Masood Azhar designated as an international terrorist by the United Nations.
The conference is being attended by around 250 foreign participants from 65 nations, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
On the domestic situation when he took over, the Prime Minister said: “In May 2014, the people of India also ushered in a new normal. My fellow Indians spoke in one voice to entrust my government with a mandate for change. Change not just of attitudes but of mindsets. Change from a state of drift to one of purposeful actions. Change to take bold decisions. A mandate in which reform would not be enough unless it transforms our economy and society. A transformation that is embedded in the aspirations and optimism of India’s youth, and in the boundless energy of its millions. Every day at work, I draw on this sacred energy.”