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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Inviting SAARC leaders sent out a message: Modi

PTI  New Delhi, June 01, 2014
First Published: 21:34 IST(1/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:50 IST(1/6/2014)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described the invitation to SAARC leaders for his swearing-in as a "right decision at the right" time and said his first major foreign policy initiative had sent out a message to the world about India's strength.

Speaking for the first time about his surprise initiative which got all-round praise, he said the world is still talking about it.
    
Visiting the BJP headquarters for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister, Modi said the world should realise the strength of India's democracy so that the country gets its due respect and status.
 
He noted that people have a lot of expectations from his government and it is the duty of his dispensation to keep pace with those aspirations.
 
"We have never thought beyond the country's frontiers. We are a big country, we are an old country, we are a big power.

We should make the world realise it. Once we do it, the world will not shy away from giving us the due respect and status," the Prime Minister told a gathering of party cadres.

 He referred to his initiative of inviting leaders of SAARC countries for the swearing-in of his Council of Ministers on May 26 and said it was a means to "give out a message to the world. They are still talking about it as to what happened, how it happened. This shows how much big results a right decision taken at the right time can bring."  

The invitation to the SAARC leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, provided an opportunity for Modi to establish contact with them.
 
With Pakistan particularly, it was seen as an ice-breaker in the ties and a step that could pave the way for taking the relationship forward.
 
Addressing the gathering in the presence of BJP President and home minister Rajnath Singh and some other leaders, he said the big mandate the party got in the recent Lok Sabha election was a "vote for hope".
 
It was a "turning point" which can influence the 21st century, Modi said on the poll results while noting that all traditional castes, religious and other political equations were ignored by voters who chose the politics of hope and aspirations above every thing.


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