World needs India as much as India needs it: Modi (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) The world needs India’s sustained rise as much as India needs the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday but warned “parochial and protectionist attitudes” are threatening globalisation goals and “non-state actors” are stoking instability, violence and extremism.

He also pitched for a new “open and inclusive” security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and asked Pakistan to abandon terrorism if it wanted dialogue with India.

Modi also said that the relations between India and US are witnessing expansion across the spectrum.

“India’s transformation is not separated from its external context. Our economic growth, employment opportunities for our youth, our access to capital, technology, markets and resources and security of our nation are all deeply impacted by developments in the world. But, the reverse is also true. The world needs India’s sustained rise as much as India needs the world,” Modi said while inaugurating the Second Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship geo-political conference.

Noting that self interest alone is “neither in our culture nor in our behaviour”, he said that India’s economic and political rise represents a “regional and global opportunity of great significance”.

“Our actions and aspirations, capacities and human capital, democracy and demography, and strength and success will continue to be an anchor for all round regional and global progress,” Modi said.

Attacking Pakistan over its support to extremism, Modi said that India alone cannot walk the path of peace and that Pakistan must reciprocate the sentiment in letter and spirit.

“A thriving well-connected and integrated neighbourhood is my dream… My vision for our neighbourhood puts premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore.

“But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India,” he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that India has redefined, despite uncertainty and conflict, partnerships with Gulf and West Asia, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Iran.

Vis-a-vis China, MOdi said it was “not unnatural” for two large neighbouring powers to have “some differences”.

“In our engagement with China, as President Xi and I agreed, we have sought to tap the vast area of commercial and business opportunities in the relationship. I see the development of India and China as an unprecedented opportunity, for our two countries and for the whole world,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that over the past two and a half years, his government has given a strong momentum to India’s engagement with the US, Russia, Japan and other major global powers.

“These partnerships are a good fit with India’s economic priorities of capital and capacities, commerce and technology, industry and infrastructure, skills and development, and defence and security,” he said.

On the US, he said he and President-elect Donald Trump have “agreed to keep building on these gains in our strategic partnership”.

Modi noted that the world’s multi-polarity, and an increasingly multi-polar Asia, is “a dominant fact today”, and India welcomes it but with “vibrant pools of progress”, rising ambition and festering rivalries are generating “visible stress points” and sought a “transparent, balanced and inclusive” security architecture.

“The steady increase in military power, resources and wealth in the Asia-Pacific has raised the stakes for its security. Therefore, the security architecture in the region must be open, transparent, balanced and inclusive. And, promote dialogue and predictable behaviour rooted in international norms and respect for sovereignty,” he said.

He said that in its march of progress, the world will find India “a beacon of peace and progress, stability and success, and access and accommodation”.

Organised by think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in collaboration with India’s External Affairs Ministry, the Raisina Dialogue seeks to examine “the prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world”.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were also present among the audience.

–IANS

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