Will talk to Pak for peace, forces free to respond:PM

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore during his surprise visit to Pakistan on December 25, 2015.

FILE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore during his surprise visit to Pakistan on December 25, 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that India’s efforts for engagement with Pakistan is on with peace as supreme objective but the forces have “full freedom to answer back” in whatever manner they have to.

He also said there are different types of forces operating in Pakistan but India engages only with a democratically-elected system.

To a question about his “uncompromising approach” towards Pakistan in May 2014 and about the killing of eight CRPF soldiers near Srinagar on Saturday, Modi said India India has always wanted friendly ties with its neighbours over which there can be no debate.

“Those who have to work from the table, will work from the table and those who have to work at the border, will work at border with full strength.

“Each one will fulfil the responsibility entrusted to them. And our jawans are fulfilling their responsibilities.

It’s true that pressure on terrorists has increased, their schemes are proving unsuccessful.

“The intent with which they move forward are foiled and they have to face major challenges. It is because of this disappointment that such incidents are taking place and our jawans are risking their lives and protecting the country. We are very proud of our Jawans,” he said.

Modi said India will have to be “alert and conscious” all the time but wondered with whom in Pakistan red lines can be drawn for conducting talks–with the elected government or “other actors”.

“Look, there are different types of forces operating in Pakistan. But the government only engages with a democratically-elected system. Our effort for that engagement is continuing. But our supreme objective is peace. Our supreme objective is to protect India’s interests.

“We keep making efforts towards that objective and sometimes our efforts are successful. As far as meetings and talks are concerned, we signalled right from the day I took oath and sent invitations for the oath taking ceremony, that we seek friendly relations but without compromising on our interests.

“And that is why I have said that my country’s soldiers have full freedom to answer back in whatever manner they have to and they will keep doing that,” he told Times Now in an interview.

Asked what would be the ‘laxman rekha’ for talks with Pakistan, Modi said “The first thing is that with whom in Pakistan you will decide about laxman rekha–with an elected government or with other actors.

“So India will have to be alert and conscious all the time. There should not be any laxity and negligence.”

Modi was asked what is the ‘lakshman rekha’ for holding talks Pakistan because in 2014 it was said it will be only talks between the two countries and not with Hurriyat, the second was 26/11 and now Pathankot.

He said because of his consistent efforts like the visit to Lahore or inviting the Pakistan Prime Minister here that he no rpt no longer has to convince the world about India’s stand on terrorism.

“The world in one voice is praising India’s role. Pakistan is finding it difficult to answer. The world is watching. If we remain an obstacle then we will have to convince the world that we are not like this.”

“Earlier the world would not buy India’s theory on terrorism and sometime it would even treat it as out law and order problem. Now the whole world is accepting what India says on terrorism. It is accepting the loss caused to India by terorrism, the loss caused to humanity by terrorism. I believe India will have to continue putting forth its view on this matter,” the prime minister said.