Talks With Pakistan Possible if Situation Improves: Union Home Minister Rajnath
Lakhpat, Gujrat (Sept 11, 2014): Maintaining that India wants good relations with Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday said resumption of stalled talks with Islamabad was possible if there was an improvement in the situation.
Against the backdrop of frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Singh said India was prepared to tackle any "challenge" from across the border.
"Definitely...if Pakistan responds properly, talks can be resumed. Neighbours are neighbours. One can change friends but not neighbours. We want good relations with all our neighbours," he said.
"India is committed to having good relations with Pakistan. But if any challenge comes, our soldiers are capable of tackling it," Singh, who was here to inaugurate a composite border-out-post (BOP) of the BSF in Lakhpat in Kutch district said.
India had called off Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled last month after its High Commissioner Abdul Basit held meetings with Kashmiri separatists.
The Home Minister also said fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, said to be in Pakistan after fleeing India in the wake of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, would be repatriated.
"Whoever has committed serious crimes against India...we will secure their repatriation," Singh said in response to a query on Dawood's repatriation.
On improving coastal border security, Singh said, "We have already established a creek command. ATVs (all terrain vehicles) have also been arranged. We will increase number of fast moving boats.
He stressed on the need to improve technology at coastal borders and said "we will also make proper arrangements for floating border out posts (BOP)".
Earlier in the day, Singh visited Harami Nala in Kutch and also interacted with BSF jawans.
During the interaction, the jawans demanded pension schemes identical to those for the armed forces and the status of martyrs for BSF personnel killed in action.
Singh assured their demands would be considered.
He lauded the BSF personnel for their patriotism and said they must have done 'Punya' (noble work) in their previous lives to have been given the opportunity to serve the nation.
Singh said, "Had border security, education and roads been top priority for previous governments India would have become the world's biggest power. Our dream of becoming a world power would not be fulfilled until our borders were secure."
The Minister was accompanied by Border Management Secretary Snehlata Kumar, Additional Director General of Western Command of BSF M K Singla, Inspector General Santosh Mehra of BSF Gujarat frontier, DIG BSF of Bhuj A S Rathore, Gujarat's Minister of State for Home Rajnikant Patel and Additional Chief Secretary in Home department S K Nanda.