India wants good relations with Pakistan, but terror activities must stop: Sushma

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 28, 2014

New approach: Sushma Swaraj assumes charge as Minister for ExternalAffairs in the Capital. - KAMAL NARANG

New External Affairs Minister says priority will be to showcase India’s strength, improveties with neighbours

India wants good relations with Pakistan, said Sushma Swaraj, who took charge as the External Affairs Minister on Wednesday.

Taking forward from the Nawaz Sharif-Narendra Modi talks on Tuesday, Swaraj reiterated that India wanted good relations with its neighbour, but made it clear that terror activities against India must stop.

After Prime Minister Modi’s gesture to invite all SAARC heads for his swearing-in hit a positive note in bilateral relations, Swaraj said her priority now would be to showcase India’s strengths to the world and improve relations with the neighbouring countries, strategic partners, Africa, ASEAN member countries, Europe and others.

“I would like to say that for the first time the SAARC leaders felt that a Government and a Prime Minister who thinks out of the box has assumed power in India,” she said while talking to reporters on her first day in office.

Ties with Sri Lanka

When asked about Modi’s talks with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Swaraj said Modi raised the issue of fishermen as well as the reconciliation process to meet the aspirations of Tamil community in the country. “We have also raised the issue of 13th Amendment,” she said.

India has been pressing for implementation of the 13th Amendment which was introduced to ensure certain powers to provincial councils based on the provisions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.

Ties with US

On the Modi Government’s approach towards the US, Swaraj referred to the telephonic conversation Barrack Obama had with Modi and the invitation extended to him by the former to visit the US.

Asked whether the new Government would give more weightage to countries such as Japan than the US, Swaraj said it was not proper to compare relations between the two countries.

“You cannot compare the relations between the two countries. We have strong trade relations with Japan. But America has its own significance,” she said.

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Published on May 28, 2014
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