Politics

Pak has to shun terror for friendship: Modi

Pak has to shun terror for friendship: Modi

New Delhi: India’s doors are always open for cooperation, but for that Pakistan has to shun terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

Hitting out at Pakistan, Modi said it breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism and this “thought” is a roadblock to peace within the region and the world.

He emphasised that “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” is not just restricted to India, but also to the neighbouring countries and development of India is incomplete without the progress of the region.

“We have extended hand of friendship towards every country (of the region) and have invited them to be a part of our growth. Without being selfish, we have wished good for the entire region.

“We truly think that citizens of all nations of the region progress and prosper. Our doors are open for cooperation, but for this terrorism has to be shunned.

“There is one thought in South Asia which breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism. The thought whose priority is not humanity, but extremism and terrorism,” Modi said, without naming Pakistan.

He was speaking at the ceremony where families of martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were felicitated by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Modi said India is a victim of the “thought” that encourages terrorism.

“The thought, whose policymakers prefer terrorism over humanity, destruction over development, destruction over creation, backstabbing over trust, is the biggest challenge to the society and its economic development,” he said.

Stating that 1,661 Indian soldiers laid down their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War, Modi said the Indian army’s struggle in this cannot be forgotten.

“The Indian army never shied away from its duty and set an example by following conventions of the war. Over 90,000 Prisoners of War were released safely after the 1971 war. The humane gesture shown by India is one of the biggest events in the century,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the genocide by Pakistan in 1971 was undertaken to wipe out an entire generation of Bangladesh and every person who was proud of the idea of Bangladesh was eliminated.

“The purpose of this genocide was not just killing the innocents, but to uproot the idea of Bangladesh,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Hasina said, the history of Bangladesh has been written with the blood of Indian martyrs along with valiant freedom fighters of Bangladesh.

“They fought together for the independence of Bangladesh. The story of their sacrifice will be remembered from generation to generation in our two countries,” she said.

—PTI