India wants cordial ties with Pakistan but Islamabad must 'change its approach': Rajnath Singh

Indian home minister while visiting Kashmir says they made their intentions clear to Pakistan on Modi's oath-taking

Web Desk July 02, 2015
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PHOTO: REUTERS

SRINIGAR: Despite the tone and tenor of its recent actions, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that his country desired cordial relations with Pakistan, but asked Islamabad "to change its approach" for this to happen.

"I want to say from the depth of my heart that we want good and friendly relations with Pakistan. It is our policy to have cordial relations with all our neighbouring countries, including Pakistan," Singh told reporters on the concluding day of his two-day visit to Indian Kashmir.

Read: Onus of normalising bilateral relations on Pakistan: Arun Jaitley

Sindh said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014 to "demonstrate India's urge for peaceful and normal relations with that country."

"We made our intentions clear on the day of the oath-taking ceremony (of Modi). If it was not our intention to improve relations with Pakistan, perhaps our prime minister would not have invited Sharif," he explained.

Referring to former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's comment on Pakistan that “friends change, but neighbours don't,” Singh said, "We also believe in that. There will be no let up in our efforts but Pakistan will have to think about it (too). It takes two hands to clap."

Read: Pakistan willing to have normal relations with India: foreign secretary

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry last month said Pakistan wanted to have a “normal” relationship with India, for which there is also a political consensus in the country, but Islamabad’s efforts were not being reciprocated by New Delhi.

Chaudhry said it was the Indian government, and not Pakistan, which had put a stop to the Indo-Pak dialogue.

In the recent weeks, both the countries have accused each other of sponsoring terrorism with a war of words continuing from both sides.

The article originally appeared on One India

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