Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has denounced Pakistan’s “selective” approach in the fight against terrorism, and said he did not want to speculate about India’s response in the event of another 26/11-type attack.
At an interaction at the Council on Foreign Relations – an American non-profit and non-partisan membership organisation, here, he, however, indicated India’s readiness to resume dialogue with Pakistan provided it abjured terrorism and came to the table with “good faith and sincerity.”
“It is my solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent...I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
On joint statement
Asked about the reference to India-Pakistan relations in the recent joint statement issued by the U.S. and China after talks in Beijing between Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao, he said, “What happens between President Obama and President Hu is not our direct concern“.
Asked about China’s economic growth, the Prime Minister said there was no doubt that its performance was superior to that of India.
But he hastened to add that he would not like to choose the Chinese path and instead stick to the one pursued by India.
Dr. Singh said:
“There are several dimensions to human freedom, which are not always caught by the numbers with regard to the GDP. So I do believe that even though Indian performance with regard to GDP might not be as good as the Chinese, certainly I would not like to choose the Chinese path. I would like to stick to Indian path.
“No doubt the Chinese growth performance is superior to India’s growth performance. But I always believe that there are other values that are important than the growth of GDP – respect for fundamental human rights, respect for rule of law, respect for multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious rights.”
He said India might seem to be indecisive at times, but “once democracy decides on the basis of wide-ranging consensus, any reforms that are undertaken will be far more durable, far more effective than the reforms introduced by the writ of ruling group in a non-democratic set-up.”
At the same time, he said world should be prepared for “peaceful rise of China as a major power” and “so engagement is the right strategy both for India as well as the U.S.”
Dr. Singh said India had taken note of “certain amount of assertiveness” by China lately. Coming against the backdrop of China’s statements on Arunachal Pradesh and other issues, he, however, said he did not “fully understand” the reasons for its actions.