Modi extends olive branch to Pakistan, but with a rider
While pointing out that resumption of talks with Pakistan was to \"try and turn the course of history\", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made it clear that the neighbouring country would be judged by its commitment on terrorism.
While pointing out that resumption of talks with Pakistan was to "try and turn the course of history", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made it clear that the neighbouring country would be judged by its commitment on terrorism.
Modi also asserted that India will never drop its guard on security as he admitted that there are many challenges and barriers on the path.
Speaking to India's top military commanders on board the country's largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya here Tuesday, Modi said: “We will test their(Paskistan’s) intentions to define the path ahead. For this, we have started a new NSA-level dialogue to bring security experts face to face with each other. But we will never drop our guard on security and we will continue to judge progress on their commitments on terrorism," he said.
This is the first time that Modi has spoken on the relations with Pakistan after the two countries announced the re-engagement under bilateral comprehensive dialogue last week. The announcement came after Modi had met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change summit in Paris on November 30 where the two also agreed to hold NSA-level talks.
Addressing the first ever Combined Commanders Conference to be held outside the national capital, the Prime Minister warned against "reckless" nuclear build up and continuing military modernisation and expansion.
"Ours is a difficult neighbourhood with the full spectrum of security challenges. We see terrorism and ceasefire violations, reckless nuclear build-up and threats, border transgressions and continuing military modernisation and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer," he feared.
Modi said that India is also pursuing closer relations with China to harness the full potential of the country's economic partnership. "We will aim to address outstanding issues, maintain stability on the border and develop greater mutual understanding and trust in our overlapping neighbourhood," he said.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the relations with China and said he believes that India and China can engage constructively across the complexity of their relationship as two self-assured and confident nations, aware of their interests and responsibilities.
"We will continue to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure, engage our neighbours more closely and strengthen our regional and global partnerships, including in maritime security," he said.
Noting that in a world of rapid changes, he said the country is facing both familiar threats and new ones. "We must re-examine our assumptions that keep massive funds locked up in inventories. As our security horizons and responsibilities extend beyond our shores and borders, we must prepare our forces for range and mobility," he said.
He also called on the armed forces to equip themselves with digital networks, and to ensure that the country’s digital and cyber space is protected.
13 Nov 2019 11:12 AM GMT