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Foreign policy same, says PM

The Prime Minister says the country is only seeking to widen the horizon of its international role, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 01:27 IST

Allaying the apprehension of the Left parties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that his government has no plan of deviating from India's basic foreign policy.

India wanted good relations with big powers like the US, Russia and China, but that could not be construed as a policy shift followed from the days of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Singh said while dismissing the impression that renewed efforts to improve ties with the US marked a radical shift in the foreign policy.

"Sometimes confusion is sought to be created that there will be a change in the foreign policy. It is not true. In terms of our basic objective, there is no change," Singh told a Congress convention at the Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here. Throughout his speech, the PM took pain to explain that his government has no intention of dumping the time-tested foreign policies.

Citing the recent nuclear agreement, former foreign minister Natwar Singh had also questioned the country's “growing tilt” towards the US.

Talking about Pakistan, the PM said his government wanted better co-operation and understanding with its neighbour despite its continued support to terrorism. "India is all for peace and prosperity of its neighbours. Despite difficulties arising out of its support to terrorist activities, we are trying our best to develop a friendly relations with Pakistan," he said.

Taking a dig at the Opposition parties, especially the BJP, he said they have been busy quarrelling among themselves, as they have no issue to turn against the UPA government. Referring to his government's performance in the last two and a half years, the PM said the country's growth rate was inching towards 10 per cent.

First Published: Nov 01, 2006 19:31 IST