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Indo-Pak peace talks: Home Minister commits to diplomatic engagement, promises to hold fire

source: chennaionline.com

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.

source: abplive.com
source: abplive.com

“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.

source: theindianawaaz
source: theindianawaaz

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)

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Terrorist Safe Havens Should Be Eliminated: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok that the international community should come together to disrupt terrorist networks

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok on Monday that the international community should come together to eliminate terrorist safe havens. Wikimedia Commons

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok on Monday that the international community should come together to eliminate terrorist safe havens and disrupt their networks and financing in order to thwart cross-border movements for achieving sustainable regional security is achieved.

Singh was addressing the sixth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Thailand, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the regional framework this year. Describing terrorism as the most heinous cross-border crime, Singh said some states have been using terror to pursue their political goals.

“It is so much worse when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by States. The interplay between states and non-state actors, used as proxies to foment violence, has worsened this menace. The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security,” said Singh.

Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh says that The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is the leading reason for unsustainable security. Wikimedia Commons

The theme of the meeting this year is ‘Sustainable Security.’ Singh said there is a need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with the broad and complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.

Singh further said that India’s Indo-Pacific vision is based on the idea of sustainable security as it focuses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based region in which there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all natikons.

“Our region must remain open and welcoming to the interests of all, those who live in it and others whose interests are in it. In short, our approach to security in the Indo-Pacific is sustainable by definition because it emphasises Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),” added Singh.

On negotiations for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, Singh said the outcome of these talks will be in keeping with all relevant international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said the forum promotes freedom of navigation, overflight and lawful commerce and also emphasised the need to protect the rights of States that are not party to these negotiations.

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Singh emphasied that India looks forward to the progress made through dialogue in addressing all related issues, including the proliferation trail that links South and East Asia on the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. “As dialogue remains on the table, we hope missile launches and such destabilising activities will cease”, he said.

During the course of his address, Singh said India is eager to co-chair the India-Indonesia Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the next cycle. (IANS)