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HindustanTimes Tue,25 Nov 2014

Pakistan should mend its ways for friendship with India: PM

PTI  Jaipur, January 18, 2013
First Published: 21:28 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 21:40 IST(18/1/2013)

Amid a demand for a toughly-worded resolution at the AICC meeting on Sunday against Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday signaled to Islamabad that it should mend its ways if it wanted friendship with India.

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"We want friendship and good relationship with all including Pakistan but how is it possible if it resorts to such actions?" Singh was quoted by party leaders as saying at the Congress' Chintan Shivir in Jaipur.

His remarks came in the backdrop of the killing of two Indian soldiers one of whom was beheaded by Pakistani troops earlier this month and the resultant tension along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh attended a meeting of the Congress group on India and the World headed by commerce minister Anand Sharma and participated by external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and Maharastra's chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

Party leader Rashid Alvi said that after the Prime Minister's "strong" message to Pakistan, the opposition also became quiet and it also brought Islamabad to its senses.

Party leaders said several delegates attending the meeting of the group, including several from Youth Congress and NSUI, made a strong pitch for a toughly-worded resolution against Pakistan at the AICC meeting slated on Sunday.

Earlier, the Chintan Shivir saw party chief Sonia Gandhi, angry over the beheading of an Indian soldier and making it plain that India's dialogue with Pakistan must be based on accepted principles of civilized behaviour.

"Better and closer relations with our immediate neighbours will not only make for regional peace- they will also have a positive impact on some of our own border states," she said in her opening remarks at the Shivir.

"However, let us be clear. Our dialogue must be based on accepted principles of civilized behavior."

Her remarks came as external affairs minister Salman Khurshid spoke on the sidelines of the Shivir about "positive indications" from Pakistan for its proposal for foreign minister-level talks to resolve the heightened tension along the Line of Control (LoC) following the beheading of an Indian soldier and said it would respond fully only after getting the formal proposal.

After the meeting, commerce minister Anand Sharma told reporters that discussions on the country's foreign policy, relations with neibhouring countries including Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan, were held.

He also said the issue of India's demand for a permanent seat in UN's Security Council was among other issues discussed in the meeting.


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