By Newsgram Staff writer
New Delhi: Addressing Pakistan Ranger chief Major General Umar Farooq Burki’s heightened concern over the prospects of a full-blown out war, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday told the visiting delegation that India will not fire the first bullet.
The home minister also stated India’s eagerness to engage in dialogues at different levels with Pakistan.
“India wants friendly relation with Pakistan and will never fire the first bullet,” the home minister told the Pakistan delegation, as per home ministry officials.
Maj.Gen. Burki, on the other hand, refused to commit on the issue saying that he was just the director-general of a force, and could only convey India’s concern to the Pakistani leadership.
Maj.Gen. Burki however affirmed that Pakistan also wanted to have good, cordial relations with India and will follow the decisions taken in the meeting.
“Your country is very big. It is a great nation. We also want to have very good relations with India,” the Rangers chief told Singh.
Talks at the director-general are currently on in New Delhi with the Pakistan Rangers delegation holding meetings with its Indian counterparts, the Border Security Force (BSF).
Speaking on cross-border terrorism, the home minister stressed on the need for united action between India and Pakistan and urged the Rangers to ensure that terrorists did not infiltrate into India from their territory.
“Both countries are affected by terrorism and all countries have to cooperate to fight this evil,” Singh the Pakistan delegation.
Underscoring India’s urgency on diplomatic engagement, the home minister also said that the reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Russia’s Ufa was that India wanted to engage with Pakistan for dialogues at different levels.
“India always wanted good cordial relations with Pakistan and the government follows (former prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s policy of peace with neighbours as ‘friends can be changed but neighbours cannot be changed’.
“India always wanted the dialogue with Pakistan to continue, and Ufa meeting was a part of the same initiative. Unfortunately, the National Security Advisor level talks between the two nations could not be held,” Singh stated.
Further stressing on complimenting both border forces for having a meaningful interaction, Singh said that “forces or civilians should not be targeted on either side”.
“Nobody should fire towards uniformed personnel… If firing takes place for some reason, the other side must verify first before retaliating by using ‘elimination bomb’,” he said.
The home minister was also happy that the two forces agreed to use the faster fax and email as the new means of communication between their commanders instead of the conventional procedure of organising flag meetings.
Friday was the second day of the talks.
(With Inputs from IANS)