“The first thing is that with whom in Pakistan will you decide the ‘lakshman rekha’ (redlines) – with the elected government or with other actors?” Modi said in an exclusive interview to a private Indian news channel.
“That is why India will have to be on alert all the time. India will have to be alert every moment. There can never be any laxity in this,” asserted Modi.
The Indian prime minister continued to say that the world has been lauding India’s approach and position on Pakistan.
We don’t need to explain to the world the role of India. Pakistan is having problems to answer. The world is seeing this: PM to @TimesNow
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 27, 2016
Modi said that there are “different types of forces operating in Pakistan”, and asked rhetorically if one has to draw a line or set conditions for dialogue, will it be “with the elected government or other actors?”
“The government (India) only engages with a democratically elected system and that effort is continuing with India’s supreme objective being bringing peace and putting the country’s interests first,” claimed Modi.
Modi said India seek smooth ties with Pakistan but without compromising on its own interests.
”As far as meetings and talks are concerned, we signalled right from the day I took oath and sent invitations (to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) for the oath taking ceremony (in 2014), that we seek friendly relations but without compromising on our interests.”
The Indian premier said, “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.”
Also Read: India fails to be NSG member, blames China
Modi said previously the international community never accepted India’s position on terrorism but “today the world has to accept what India has been saying about terrorism.”
“If we had become an obstacle, then we would have had to explain to the world that we are not that obstacle. Now we don’t have to explain to the world. The world knows our intentions,” he said.
“India has to fight poverty, so does Pakistan. Why don’t we come together to fight poverty,” said the Indian prime minister in a relatively softer tone.
Commenting on India’s failed bid to get Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, Modi held the pre-meeting hype responsible for making the setback appear big to the world.
“My trip to the United States, my speech in their Congress and the respect shown towards India created a lot of hype. Had it not been hyped so much, there would not have been so much criticism on the NSG issue.”
India used synchronised efforts for obtaining NSG membership and also engaged with China on the subject. “The first thing is that we have an ongoing dialogue with China and it should continue to happen,” Modi said.
“I can say that China has been cooperating with India to search for solutions. On some issues, it’s a question of principles for them. On some issues, it’s a question of principles for us. On some issues they differ with us and there are issues on which we differ with them. There are some basic differences. But the most important thing is that we can speak to China eye-to-eye and put forth India’s interests in the most unambiguous manner. We are a government that takes care of India’s interests.”