foreign policy

Will engage with Pak for peace, forces free to answer back: PM

Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif (File) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that India's efforts for engagement with Pakistan is on with peace as supreme objective but the forces have "full freedom to answer back" in whatever manner they have to.

He also said there are different types of forces operating in Pakistan but India engages only with a democratically-elected system.

To a question about his "uncompromising approach" towards Pakistan in May 2014 and about the killing of eight CRPF soldiers near Srinagar on Saturday, Modi said India India has always wanted friendly ties with its neighbours over which there can be no debate.

"Those who have to work from the table, will work from the table and those who have to work at the border, will work at border with full strength.

"Each one will fulfil the responsibility entrusted to them. And our jawans are fulfilling their responsibilities. It's true that pressure on terrorists has increased, their schemes are proving unsuccessful.

"The intent with which they move forward are foiled and they have to face major challenges. It is because of this disappointment that such incidents are taking place and our jawans are risking their lives and protecting the country. We are very proud of our Jawans," he said.

Asked about reports and apprehensions that Rajan's exit would affect the image of Indian economy abroad, Modi said if one recalled the media reports for three months after he took over in 2014 there were a number of articles written and TV shows in which questions were raised whether Rajan would be allowed to continue in the post to which he was appointed by the UPA government.

"They said I would not allow him to continue (as RBI Governor). So it was proved wrong. It is wrong to say that Rajan is less patriotic than us. It will also be unfair to say that he will not work for India's interests. I am sure wherever he works or whichever post he holds, Rajan will continue to serve India," the prime minister said.

Modi ruled out political witch hunt in the probe into the AgustaWestland chopper deal, saying investigating agencies will do a professional job and whatever names come up, "let's see". However, he maintained that a "sin" has been committed and those behind them have had a "big protective cover".

"The case about Agusta helicopters. I can't deny it and I believe that we have the right to doubt that people behind this are very experienced.

"They have perfectly practiced the art of doing wrong deeds. They are very experienced and knowledgeable. And one can also smell the fact that such a thing wouldn't have been done without a big protective shield. Now, agencies are probing. Let's see how far the probe goes," he told Times Now.

He was asked in an interview about a feeling that there is some kind of a political witch hunt while it could not also have been done without political patronage.

"There should be no targeting (of individuals). Nor does my government do it," he said.

"A sin has been committed. How was it done, who did it and how much was done. Probe agencies will find out in a professional way. Whatever names come out, let's see," he said.

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