On a three-day visit to take a stock at the forward areas along the borders with Pakistan and China, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh set the record straight by the asserting that India does not have “expansionist ambitions”. Reiterating that China must resolve border disputes in order to improve relationship with India, Mr. Singh even urged Pakistan to take initiatives to better the relations.
Emphasising that India is willing to take lead to improve ties with neighbours, Union Home minister added that we will not compromise with our honour and dignity.
“We want better relationships with China and Pakistan. Peace cannot prevail in Asia and the continent cannot prosper on the path of development till India’s relations with them improve”, Rajnath Singh said while addressing ITBP troops at a function in Samba in Jammu & Kashmir.
“Whether it is a question of border disputes or issues of terrorism, I feel all the issues can be resolved through talks,’ he said, adding, “India is a peace loving country. We only want to defend our borders.”
On the issue of dialogue with Pakistan in the backdrop of repeated ceasefire violation by its troops, he said, “I have said that India wants better relations with the neighbours. Better relations can be built. Pakistan should come forward… Both the sides should come forward. India is ready to take lead.”
Last few months has witnessed heavy firing and shelling by Pakistan forces on the civilian areas at the forward areas along the LoC and International Border. Both civilians and Indian security forces has suffered casualties due to the Pakistan firing and shelling.
Recalling the words of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Union Home Minister said that you can change a friend but not a neighbour.
“Our Prime Minister also took a lead to have better relationship with the China but at the same time he strongly raised that pending issues between China and India should be resolved,” Rajnath Singh said apprising the gathering on the initiatives taken by the BJP-led central government.
Asked whether India was hopeful of a positive outcome from Indo-Pak flag meeting on LoC on Monday, the Union minister kept away from any direct reply but said that Pakistan Rangers DG had met him and has given an assurance on this critical issue.
(With inputs from the PTI)