‘How can we change our neighbours’: PM Modi’s veiled dig at Pakistan

  • PTI, Brussels
  • Updated: Mar 31, 2016 20:07 IST
PM Modi with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Apparently referring to Pakistan, Modi said that “some neighbours” don’t understand that problems can be resolved peacefully with talks. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT File Photo)

Apparently referring to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that “some neighbours” don’t understand that problems can be resolved peacefully by talks, citing the example of Bangladesh with which India’s boundary dispute was resolved.

While talking about how disputes with Bangladesh were solved, he said, “We presented an example before the world that by talking, issues can be resolved with neighbouring countries. (But) some neighbours do not understand this. Now, how can we change our neighbours? They will also understand, some day they will also understand.”

While the Prime Minister did not name the country, he was apparently referring to Pakistan with which India has several disputes.

“Sometimes we wonder if there can be solutions to problems with neighbours...There was a land dispute with Bangladesh since that country was born in 1971. Since then, the question was pending. One issue was about water sharing, another about demarcation of boundary in the sea and third about land boundary,” Modi said, addressing a gathering of Indian diaspora in Brussels.

“You would be happy to know that after our government came, without firing any bullet, without any fight, by just sitting with Bangladesh, the border dispute was ended”.

“Whoever had to come to India, they came, whoever had to go to Bangladesh they went, the border was demarcated and now fencing work is going on there. The disease of infiltration will also end and both the countries will live peacefully and happily. Water dispute has also been resolved,” Modi said.

He was enlisting various steps taken by his 22-month-old government to end disputes.

The Prime Minister said that while the world was going through an economic crisis, global analysts and rating agencies like IMF see India as a “land of hope”.

India is currently one of the fastest growing economies, “not because of ‘naseeb’ (luck), nor because of Modi but the reason for this is the efforts by 125 crore people of the country,” he said.

“If the direction is right, policy is clear and above all, intention is clear, then nobody can stop India. India can progress,” he said.

Modi, who enlisted before NRIs the various initiatives of the government during the one-hour speech, said he was giving account of his work as he considers himself ‘pradhan sevak’ (prime servant) and not the Prime Minister.

“In a democracy, it is obligatory to give an account of your work to the people,” he said.

Talking about corruption, he said he was confident that the menace can end with little changes.

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