Modi seeks friendship with Pak; but deplores terrorist links

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30 August 2014

Despite the Narendra Modi government's recent snapping of bilateral discussions with Pakistan, the Prime Minister said today India will persist in seeking friendly relations with its long-inimical neighbour but added that any meaningful dialogue needs an environment free from terrorism and violence.

"India has no hesitation to discuss any outstanding issue with Pakistan within the bilateral framework that has been established under the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration," Modi said in an interaction with journalists in Tokyo as he landed for his visit  to Japan. His comments were posted on the ministry of external affairs website.

India aborted talks with Pakistan after the Pakistan high commissioner met separatist groups in the long-disputed Kashmir (See: India calls off talks as Pak envoy engages J&K separatists) .

The government was "disappointed that Pakistan  sought to make a spectacle of these efforts and went ahead with talks with secessionist elements from J&K in New Delhi just prior to the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries," Modi said, according to the government release.

On the economic front, Modi said India may be over the worst. "I think we have crossed the difficult situation that the country was facing," he said. "Within the first 100 days of this government, we have achieved stability and stopped the continued reversals that the country was facing.

''We have to move ahead now on the runway. I am confident that, very soon, we will attain even greater heights."

Modi's comments came as India's GDP grew at 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter, the fastest in two years.

The PM championed India as an investment destination and said the government welcomed foreign direct investment.

He further said India wanted to extend its ties with China. "I am keen to work closely with the Chinese leadership to push the relationship forward and to deal with all issues in our bilateral relations by proceeding from the strategic perspective of our developmental goals and long term benefits to our peoples," Modi said.

"I had a good first meeting with President Xi in July and I am looking forward to welcoming him in India."





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