Projecting India’s growth story as a binding economic force for the region, India has said that it would like to resolve all issues through dialogue with Pakistan, but has underlined that it will have an effective deterrence to deal with terrorism.
“We would like to resolve our problems through negotiations, through talks. I don’t think of any problem that cannot be resolved through negotiations,” National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said at the Munich Security Conference, organised by the Delhi-headquartered think tank ORF, in New Delhi.
“But on the other hand, India would like to have an effective deterrence to deal with terrorism,” Mr Doval said against the backdrop of escalating tensions over recent ceasefire violation by Pakistan.
In a stern message to Islamabad, India had cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August to protest the Pakistani envoy’s meeting with separatist Kashmiri leaders.
In the worst ceasefire violations in more than a decade, the border troops of India and Pakistan exchanged fierce gunfire along the Line of Control and the International Border over the last three weeks, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding dozens.
In his speech, Mr Doval underlined the Modi government’s policy of pursuing friendly relations with all neighbours and envisaged India’s economic progress as a cementing force of regional cooperation.
“I think developing better relations with neighbourhood is important. India’s economic development could bind together the region which could see a vested interest that India’s growth will bring more opportunities and they should not feel undermined,” he said.
Rearticulating the template of pragmatic economic cooperation with China, Mr Doval emphasised that while India will never compromise on territorial sovereignty, it will like to resolve the boundary dispute through negotiations and develop space for commerce.
Alluding to the brief but brutal war the two Asian giants waged war in 1962, Mr Doval said: “But we find space for economic cooperation and commerce. I would like to develop our relations to such an extent till the time our territorial and integral sovereignty…We would not able to compromise on it. We should sit together and resolve our boundary dispute amicably.”
China’s President Xi Jinping visited China last month, during which the two countries signed a clutch of agreements to expand their economic ties and firm up collaboration in diverse areas, the infrastructure sector.
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