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Pakistan would take a lot of time to mend its ways: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at an event in Ghazipur on December 29, 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at an event in Ghazipur on December 29, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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“My (foreign) visits are noticed because I interact with people and take decisions,” the Prime Minister said in an interview to news agency ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 1 said India will make all efforts to keep pressure on Pakistan, but it will be a huge mistake to believe that the country will mend its ways any time soon.

In an exclusive interview to ANI, Mr. Modi said that whether it is surgical strikes or action at other levels, the Indian government is working out various strategies to keep up the pressure on Pakistan to check terrorism.

Mr. Modi said that while India favours a dialogue and good friendly relations with Pakistan, it is also wary of the fact that the neighbouring country is not going to mend it ways of promoting cross border terrorism any time soon.

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When asked why cross border attacks have not stopped after the surgical strikes Mr. Modi replied, “Whatever strategy is to be adopted, how to do, is ongoing at appropriate levels, has been happening. The 1965 war, war during partition ... Ek ladai se Pakistan sudhar jayega, yeh sochne mein bahut badi galti hogi. Pakistan ko sudharne mein abhi aur samay lagega. (It will be a huge mistake to believe that Pakistan will mend its ways after a war. It will take a lot of time for Pakistan to mend its ways).

“India, whether under the UPA or the NDA government, has never opposed dialogue. It is our consistent policy that we are in favour of dialogue. It is the consistent policy of the country, not Modi government or Manmohan Singh government. It is our consistent policy that we are ready to talk on all issues, not this issue or that issue. Because India’s argument is strong. We only say one thing that amid the noise of bombs and guns, the dialogue cannot be heard. Cross-border terrorism must end. And we are persistently maintaining pressure on this.”

He added that India has created an environment that terror-supporting Pakistan stands isolated in the world. On a question whether he will go to Pakistan if invited by his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for SAARC meeting, the Prime Minister said: “We will cross the bridge when we reach there.” On his government’s foreign policy with regard to China, the Prime Minister said India should be judged on the basis of what it did in Doklam. He asserted that nothing has happened with India since then that can be considered as deceit.

“Our principled position has been that we want friendly relations with neighbours,” he added.

During the interview, Mr. Modi also responded to the criticism of his much publicised foreign tours being too many and more photo opportunities rather than substantial, saying his travel schedule has been more or less similar to that of his predecessors but his visits are noticed more because he interacts with people, takes decisions and makes India’s voice heard.

“If you count, there are number of multi-lateral forums, Summit-level meetings. If the level is lower than Prime Minister, the voice is not heard. Manmohan Singhji also had been to these summits. It has become mandatory. I try that India’s voice reaches the world. Earlier, when PM used to go, nobody used to notice at the place they arrived in, even the place from where they departed no one noticed. My visits are noticed because I interact with people and take decisions,” Prime Minister said.

(The article has been published in an arrangement with ANI)

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 11:52:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-would-take-a-lot-of-time-to-mend-its-ways-narendra-modi/article25881945.ece

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