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It will take a lot of time for Pakistan to mend its ways, says Modi

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Prime Minister asserts that India has always been in favour of dialogue, but it cannot be heard amid noise of bombs and guns.

New Delhi: It will be a huge mistake to believe that Pakistan will mend its ways soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, even as he asserted that his government was open to dialogue with Islamabad but that it cannot be done “amid the noise of bombs and guns”.

“Whatever strategy is to be adopted, how to do, is ongoing at appropriate levels, has been happening (sic). 1965 war, war during partition… Ek ladai se Pakistan sudhar jayega, yeh sochne mein bahut badi galti hogi. Pakistan ko sudharne mein abhi aur samay lagega (It will be a huge mistake to believe that Pakistan will mend its ways after a war. It will take a lot of time for it to do that),” Modi said in an interview to ANI.

The Prime Minister was replying to a question on why cross-border terrorism has not stopped since the surgical strikes, carried out by the Indian Army in September 2016 across the Line of Control.

‘Talks, terror don’t go together’

Asked if India was open to dialogue as sought by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Modi said that India had never opposed dialogue, either under the UPA or the NDA government.

“It is our consistent policy that we are in favour of dialogue. It is the consistent policy of the country, not Modi government or Manmohan Singh government. It is our consistent policy that we are ready to talk on all issues, not this issue or that issue,” he said.

Asked if he would go to Pakistan if invited by Khan, Modi replied, “We will cross the bridge when we reach there.”

The Prime Minister added that India has always argued that talks and terror cannot go together.

“We only say one thing, that amid the noise of bombs and guns, the dialogue cannot be heard. Cross-border terrorism must end. And we are persistently maintaining pressure on this,” the PM said.

Modi also criticised the politicisation of the strikes, something which his own government has been accused of by opposition parties.

“I personally believe that surgical strikes should not be politicised… On the surgical strikes, there are some political parties who began to speak the same language as Pakistan. These parties were demeaning our armed forces. They politicised such an issue,” he said.

Also read: Urjit Patel had told me he wanted to quit as RBI governor 6-7 months back – Modi

On China and Doklam

During the interview, Modi also touched upon the issue of China and said India should be judged by what it did in Doklam.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from 16 June in 2017 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army.

The faceoff ended on 28 August after hectic diplomatic and back-channel talks. By that time, both India and China had mobilised and deployed large number of men and artillery on their respective sides.

Modi asserted that nothing has happened with India since then that can be considered as deceit.

Also read: No ordinance on Ram mandir until judicial process is complete, says PM Modi


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