Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India has always wanted to have friendly relations with all its neighbours but Pakistan has betrayed India and returned peace initiatives with terrorist attacks.
Referring to the invitation extended to SAARC countries for the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi, he said this was done because “we realised if we want to make India a powerful country we need cooperation of all neighbouring countries”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before the formation of the government, had held a party meeting and we decided if we want to make India a powerful country we need cooperation of all the neighbouring countries. So we decided to invite all the neighbouring heads of state/government and we invited Nawaz Sharif also, and he had come,” Singh said.
“Sharif was invited not just to shake hands but let the hearts of the two countries to meet,” he said, adding Pakistan should understand “our intentions but it has failed to do so”.
He also said Modi, “breaking all the protocols”, went to attend a function in Sharif’s family while returning from Afghanistan.
“We try our best that our neighbours live in peace with us. We want development of India as well as that of Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. All should progress. We want this. But what has Pakistan given us in return of our large-heartedness?
“We got Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Uri where terrorists entered and launched cowardly attacks on our soldiers,” Singh said. “But we also showed them what we are capable of,” he added.
“I thank our soldiers who succeeded in giving the message we cannot only hit them here but if need arises we can hit them anywhere,” Singh said, referring to the surgical strikes carried by the army inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
He accused Pakistan of continuously fuelling terrorism and said India wants friendly ties with the neighbouring country but will never compromise on the issue of terrorism.
“I ask them (Pakistan) why they are not saying they are not ready to compromise on terrorism. If India says this why Pakistan is not saying the same,” Singh said.
He said after Gurdaspur and Pathankot terror attacks, Pakistan had stated it wanted to cooperate and sent a team to India. “But after the team’s return to Pakistan, they refused to allow Indian SIT to visit Pakistan,” he said.