India wants to build on progress with Pak, mindful of terror

India wants to build on progress with Pak, mindful of terror

Expressing commitment to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through dialogue, India today said it looks forward to building upon progress made so far while being mindful of the need for Pakistan to take credible action against terror groups and infrastructure.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget Session, President Pratibha Patil said the government has been pursuing a policy of promoting peace and cooperation in India's immediate neighbourhood and beyond to enable the country to achieve its goals of socio-economic development and national security.

"We wish to see all nations in South Asia prosper, enjoy stability and realise their true potential through the broadening of regional economic cooperation, trade and infrastructure development," she said.

Turning to Pakistan, she said, "we are committed to resolving all outstanding issues" with it. "We look forward to building upon the progress made so far mindful of the need for Pakistan to take credible action against terrorist groups and the related infrastructure on its soil," Patil said.

Referring to China, she said India attaches high priority to the development of Strategic and Cooperative Partnership.

"The rapid growth of our trade and economic relations with China has significance not only for our bilateral relationship but for the global economy as a whole," she said.

With regard to Bangladesh, the President said the Protocol on the Land Boundary Agreement with it paves the way for settlement of long-standing issues and a mutually-beneficial bilateral cooperation.

She also made a mention of steps initiated by her government for resettlement and rehabilitation of the internally-displaced persons of Sri Lanka.

The President said India's partnerships with major world powers continued to develop.

In this context, Patil said the United States was a "valued strategic partner with whom we has a multi-faceted relationship based on our national interests."

At the same time, she said India's "special and privileged" strategic partnership with Russia was further strengthened during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Russia last year.

Talking about troubled West Asia and and North Africa, she said India has a vital stake in peace and stability and progress of the countries of these regions.

"We would like the people of the region to chart their own pathways to nation-building and development at this historic time of transition and change," the President said.

She said the government last year undertook Operation Safe Homecoming to evacuate over 16,000 Indian nationals from Libya in view of the deteriorating situation in that country.
The government also made arrangements for evacuation of Indian nationals for Egypt and Yemen following disturbances in those countries.

Regarding Palestine, she said, "we are unwavering in our support" to its cause.

Noting that India is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Patil said it has sought to work with the rest of the world in efforts to maintain international peace and security while respecting the established principles of international law, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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