Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said Pakistan must take demonstrable steps against terror groups, which are responsible for launching various attacks on India from its soil.
Addressing the 12th South Asia conference with the theme ‘India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy: Regional Perceptions’ Singh said: “We have made it clear that talks and terror cannot go together and that Pakistan must take demonstrable steps against terror groups responsible for launching various attacks on India from its soil.”
“It (Pakistan) has preferred to use terrorism as a state policy towards India, rather than a peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue. Use of terror as an instrument of its foreign and security policy has promoted radicalism and terrorism in the region,” he said.
The Defence Minister said it is important to unite in efforts to defeat terrorism and it is essential that terrorists and their ideological and financial networks are cut off and that they do not receive state support.
Cornering the neighbouring country, he said: “With the exception of Pakistan our region has adhered to these principles.”
Stressing that India has always made efforts to share its prosperity with its neighbourhood, he said, “India has committed about 13.14 billion US dollars in credit-lines and about 4 billion US dollars in assistance in the neighbourhood over the last decade.”
“On the developmental front, there is an emphasis on greater connectivity, including energy, road and rail, port and waterways, space and digital connectivity, and making resources available to the neighbours to build necessary infrastructure in this regard,” he said.
The Union Minister opined that under the Neighbourhood First Policy, intensifying bilateral developmental partnership with countries in the region may create the necessary impulse for regional cooperation in South Asia in the long run.