New Delhi, Aug 29 IANS | 3 months ago

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said he was "disappointed" that Pakistan sought to make a "spectacle" of efforts at talks and added that any "meaningful" bilateral dialogue requires an environment that is free from "terrorism" and "violence".

He also expressed concern at threats to peace and stability in Afghanistan and stressed that India remained committed to its efforts for that country to become peaceful and prosperous.

"India desires peaceful, friendly and cooperative ties with Pakistan. I had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in May 2014, when he attended the swearing-in ceremony of my government," Modi said at an interaction with Japanese media ahead of his visit to the country.

"We together decided that the foreign secretaries should meet and explore how to take relations forward. India has no hesitation to discuss any outstanding issue with Pakistan within the bilateral framework that has been established under the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration," he said.

The prime minister said India was therefore disappointed that Pakistan sought to make a spectacle of these efforts (at talks) and went ahead with talks with secessionist elements from Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi just prior to the meeting of the foreign secretaries.

"We will continue to make efforts to build peaceful, friendly and cooperative ties with Pakistan, but I might add that any meaningful bilateral dialogue necessarily requires an environment that is free from terrorism and violence," he added.

About India's relation with Afghanistan, he said: "As the ISAF has been drawing down its presence, the Afghan national security forces and their valiant personnel have been showing themselves more than capable of taking on greater responsibilities for Afghanistan's security."

"However, peace and stability in Afghanistan continues to face a serious threat from terrorism and extremism coming from across its borders. India has a strategic partnership with Afghanistan and we remain committed to helping Afghans build a strong, independent and prosperous country," he said.

Modi said that India's nuclear doctrine was adopted during the previous National Democratic Alliance government and has in general governed the country's nuclear weapons posture since then.

He also ruled out any review at this point.

"While every government naturally takes into account the latest assessment of strategic scenarios and makes adjustments as necessary, there is a tradition of national consensus and continuity on such issues. I can tell you that currently, we are not taking any initiative for a review of our nuclear doctrine," he said.

(Posted on 30-08-2014)

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