I am pleased to be in New Delhi at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi. Yesterday, I attended his oath-taking ceremony.
Today, I had a good and constructive meeting with Prime Minister Modi this afternoon. It was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere. We agreed that our meeting in New Delhi, should be a historic opportunity for both our countries.
I pointed out that we were at the beginning of our respective tenures, with a clear mandate. This provides us the opportunity of meeting the hopes and aspirations of our peoples that we will succeed in turning a new page in our relations. The one and a half billion people of the two countries want us to focus on their well-being and welfare.
I recalled my invitation to Prime Minister Vajpayee to Lahore in February 1999 and told him that I intended to pick up the threads of the Lahore Declaration, from where it had to be left off in October 1999.
I stressed to Prime Minister Modi that we have a common agenda of development and economic revival, which is not possible to achieve without peace and stability in the region. I urged that together, we should rid the region of instability and insecurity, that has plagued us for decades.
Consequently, it was important for us to work together for peace, progress and prosperity. Finally, I urged that we had to strive to change confrontation into cooperation. Engaging in accusations and counter-accusations would be counter-productive, I emphasized. My government, therefore, stands ready to discuss all issues between our two countries, in a spirit of cooperation and sincerity.
After all, we owe it to our people to overcome the legacy of mistrust and misgivings. We agreed that this common objective could be facilitated by greater people-to-people exchanges, at all levels.
Prime Minister Modi warmly reciprocated my sentiments and remarked that my visit to New Delhi was seen as a special gesture by the people of India. He stated that it was incumbent on both of us to work together, to achieve our common objectives for peace and development.
We also agreed that the two Foreign Secretaries would be meeting soon, to review and carry forward our bilateral agenda, in the spirit of our meeting today.
It also gave me great pleasure to call on President Pranab Mukherjee this afternoon and have the warm and friendly exchanges with him.
I take leave of this historic city. I do so with a strong sense that the leaderships and the peoples of our two countries share desire and mutual commitment to carry forward our relationship, for the larger good of our peoples.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
''Modi victory a wakeup call for Pakistan ::::Ayaz Amir
For the first thing this victory will do is to draw an unfortunate contrast between India and Pakistan. We may not like Narendra Modi the instigator or abettor of the anti-Muslim riots in Godhra. But it is hard to deny that coming from where he does he will make a strong prime minister. His campaign was sharply focused and as prime minister, as all the signs suggest, he is likely to be clear about his goals and where he wants to take his country. He will be master in his own house.
Compare this with conditions in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif fancies himself a strongman but as the nation has had plenty of opportunity to observe, he is anything but that: confusion and lack of aim the hallmarks of his stewardship – qualities springing to the fore in the last one month in his dealings with the army and his government’s handling of the aftermath of the Geo affair.
In just the first year of his term he presides over not a united but a divided polity – government and army at daggers drawn, the media engaged in a civil war threatening to overwhelm the freedoms won not through any fictitious struggle but bestowed as a gift by a military dictator. It is the forgetting of these basic truths by the media that is largely responsible for its present plight.
Modi is a self-made man, rising through the ranks of the RSS and the BJP to his present position. He is a friend of Indian capitalism but not a capitalist himself. Nawaz Sharif is a product of military patronage and one of the richest leaders in the world, his private fortune running into the uncounted billions.
Modi’s family is not into private business, factories here and abroad or real estate in London and elsewhere. Our ruling family – and it is now a ruling family – is into all these things. The mettle, the mould, the style of the two leaderships is thus different, and the disadvantage lies clearly on the Pakistani side.'''
One poster wrote " Ab Pakistan ke Bhi acche Din aneywale hein "
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