Among the first leaders PM Modi spoke to was his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. The telephonic conversation has extreme importance in backdrop of the ongoing CAA-NRC controversy. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
In what can be called as a thoughtful, diplomatic tactic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent out a clear message to Pakistan – New Delhi’s circle of trust doesn’t include Islamabad. Prime Minister Modi launched the unique ‘neighbourhood first’ policy and dialled up top leaders of five nations to extend the new year’s wishes. But what everyone noticed that not only did Prime Minister Modi skip Pakistan for the customary call but also there was no mention of Islamabad in the neighbourhood policy. Experts say that the silence on part of PM Modi will set the tone of Indo-Pak ties in the year 2020.
During his phone calls to leaders of Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal, “Prime Minister conveyed to the leaders his New Year greetings and good wishes on behalf of the people of India and on his own behalf. He emphasized India’s commitment to ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and the vision of shared peace, security, prosperity and progress for all of India’s friends and partners in the region.”
Among the first leaders PM Modi spoke to was his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. The telephonic conversation has extreme importance in backdrop of the ongoing CAA-NRC controversy. PM Modi congratulated Sheikh Hasina on being re-elected as the President of the Awami League for the next three years. “Prime Minister also expressed his condolence on the untimely demise of former High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Syed Muazzem Ali. Prime Minister noted the progress achieved in India-Bangladesh relations in 2019. He also stated that the upcoming birth-centenary of Bangbandhu and 50 years of the Liberation of Bangladesh and establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties provided important milestones to further progress of the close India-Bangladesh ties, which is a priority of his Government.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India's new Army chief's statement that New Delhi reserves the right to "preemptively strike" across the Line of Control (LoC), terming the remarks as "irresponsible". Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday had said that India reserves the right to "preemptively strike" at sources of terror. He asserted that a "new normal" in the country's response mechanism to acts of cross-border terrorism has already been "emphatically" displayed.
"If Pakistan does not stop its policy of state-sponsored terrorism, we reserve the right to preemptively strike at the sources of terror threat and this intent has adequately been demonstrated in our response during surgical strikes and Balakot operation," the Army Chief said in New Delhi, in a stern warning to Islamabad.Reacting to Gen Naravane's remarks, the Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said, "We reject the new Indian Army Chief's irresponsible statement regarding 'pre-emptive strikes' across the LoC" inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).