“People to people contacts have gone up, trade relations have shown improvement,” Singh said in the Rajya Sabha replying to a debate on motion of thanks to President’s address.
“But there can’t be normalisation of relations between the two countries unless and until the terror machine, which is still active in Pakistan is brought under control,” he said. His underlined that this has been his government’s policy for the past nine years and would continue in the coming times.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid will host a lunch in his honour at Jaipur, but no “substantive talks” are expected to take place.
Ashraf’s visit comes at a time when there is a chill in bilateral ties over the ceasefire violations along Line of Control across Kashmir. An Indian soldier was beheaded by Pakistani troops, which had its impact on the bilateral ties. India had put on hold the rolling out of a new visa regime and postponed the water secretary-level talks.
PM SLAMS BJP
Continuing with a combative posture against the BJP from the Lok Sabha, Singh on Friday said UPA has better economic growth records than the NDA the Opposition charges of Centre spending through the roof would not deter government from putting more money in social sector schemes.
“I agree to Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley saying that country needs a growth of 7-8% to get rid of poverty. I would like to remind this House that this is precisely the intention of the UPA government,” Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.