Not working to isolate Pakistan: Modi

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday rejected the notion that India was putting “so much hard work” to isolate Pakistan, asserting that his efforts were aimed at uniting the world powers to defeat terrorism as his country has been suffering from the scourge since decades.

He said the suggestion that the country’s foreign policy was based on Pakistan was wrong but stressed that the world was uniting against those sympathetic towards terrorists, an apparent reference to the neighbouring country.

“If you think we are doing so much hard work around the world to isolate one nation, then that is wrong. This is not our work. Yes, the world is grappling with the scourge of terrorism and whoever is sympathetic towards terrorists, the world is uniting against them,” he told Times Now in an interview. India’s foreign policy is issue-based and is in the context of its relations with the world, he said.

Modi also praised US President Donald Trump for raising his voice against terror with ‘a lot of assertion’. “I welcome him and I respect him. Whoever takes a step against terrorism, I will welcome them and praise them, because my country has been suffering from terrorism for 40 years. Innocents are being killed. Terrorism needs to end in the world,” he said.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, he noted that he had always said India and Pakistan have fought a lot and now should come together to fight poverty and diseases. “I directly talk to the people of Pakistan. I directly tell the people, should we not fight poverty? Should we not fight illiteracy? Should we not fight diseases? If we fight together, we will win faster,” he said.

On Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising him for his strong stance against terrorism, Modi said he was grateful to him for praising India so much and for lauding the Indian government. “Humanity is in great danger and to save humanity, it’s important for powers that believe in humanitarian values to unite.

“And I believe this fight is about saving humanity and nothing can be a bigger soft power than this,” Modi said. “You have to unite those who believe in humanitarian values, only then can you isolate terrorists and defeat terrorism,” he said.

To a question about Kashmir and the appointment of the Centre’s representative for a dialogue, Modi said dialogue does take place with every Indian citizen and it will continue to take place. “Constitution of India has given us that responsibility and we do it. There is nothing new, this has been happening, and I have even said all of this from the ramparts of Red Fort. There is no difficulty in it,” Modi said.

“Every Indian citizen has the right to speak to Mr Modi and say ‘Mr Modi please stand and talk to us’. We are there for those who believe in the Constitution of India and for those who live and die for the nation,” he said.

Asked about those who do not believe in the Constitution, a reference to separatists, he said, “Why will they talk then?”


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