Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told diplomats on Friday that dialogue with Pakistan must continue.
Pakistan had tried to target India in Afghanistan and elements in the Pakistani establishment underwrote attacks on Indians in Afghanistan, including the Kabul embassy bombing.
Dialogue must continue in spite of this, Singh stressed in his inaugural address during the heads of missions meet.
He exhorted the Indian officials to reach out to Pakistani institutions, intelligentsia and non-elite classes as sooner or later Pakistan would realise that good relations with India were “in its best interests”.
India sought a peaceful international environment, as well as very good relations with all countries, especially neighbours and major powers, he said.
Foreign policy should also be oriented towards east and south-east Asia, which were poised for a sustained growth rate in the 21st century. He also stressed the importance of foreign policy in securing the country’s energy needs.
Enlisting his vision for India, Singh said the foremost national goal was to remove poverty and accelerate the pace of economic development.
“We were building modern infrastructure, which would stand up to the challenge of a fast-moving economy. The nation was also focusing on human resource development, as it was the quality of human resources that determined the standing of a country in the comity of nations. By the same token, science and technology was a major factor of power and wealth of a nation. India had to have the ability to master technology,” Singh said at the gathering of more than 100 diplomats.
The Prime Minister remarked that India was among the fastest growing economies in the world, and despite the global meltdown in 2008-09, had returned to a growth path of 8.5 per cent.