India Not Eyeing Anyone’s Territory: Declares PM Modi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday declared India does not eye any one’s territory nor it has intentions to exploit resources of any other nation.
Mr. Modi asserted that India’s focus has always been capacity building and resource development be it on bilateral or multilateral platforms like Commonwealth, India-Africa Summit or Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation. “On each of these forums, we have made efforts to take every one along,’’ he said.
Addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference here, the Prime Minister said India’s development aid model was not based on “give and take’’ but on the needs and priorities of the recipient nations.
He said that India has always played a positive and constructive role on the global arena. “We have not seen our relations with any country on the scale of profit and loss but viewed them through the prism of humanitarian values,’’ he said amid applause from 134 PIO lawmakers and mayors from 24 countries.
“Our strong relations with ASEAN countries have been further strengthened and these will be showcased to the entire world in a few days from now on the occasion of India’s Republic Day,’’ he said. As many as 10 leaders from ASEAN countries will be guests of honour on January 26 Republic Day celebrations in the Capital.
Mr. Modi said that 21st Century is being described as Asian Century and India has definitely played an important role in it. “You will feel this influence of India’s growing stature across the world. India’s growing economy and power will certainly make you proud and it will inspire us to work even harder,’’ he said. The Prime Minister said the world is facing many challenges which can be met by the ideology of non-violence and peaceful protest as enunciated by Gandhiji. “Extremism and radicalization can be countered only through the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi,’’ he said.
Terming members of Indian diaspora as partners in development and progress of India, Mr. Modi said the government wants to establish lasting ties with PIOs. In his 45-minute inaugural address, Mr. Modi dwelt at length on India moving up by 42 places in the ranking of ease of doing business in the past three years, attracting FDI worth 60 billion dollars in 2016-17, and going up in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index by 32 ranks. “Today bodies like World Bank, IMF and Moody’s are looking at India in a positive way,’’ he said.
He attributed these developments to far-reaching policy reforms brought in the economy by his government over the past three years. “Reform to Transform is our guiding principle. Our aim is to make the entire system accountable, transparent and completely eradicate corruption,’’ he said.
The PM said that more than half the investment made till now in sectors like construction, air transport, mining, computer software, hardware, electrical equipment has come in the last three years.
Describing the gathering of PIOs as a ‘mini world Parliament’ , the PM said: ”When there is news about how you all are influencing the geo-politics of where you live and how you are making policies, we feel proud. No matter where they are, I can imagine how happy your ancestors must be on seeing you all here.”
He said India’s relations with countries of the world was governed by spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (Entire World Is One Family ).
”During earthquake in Nepal, flood in Sri Lanka, water problems in the Maldives; India was the first to respond. When crisis struck Yemen, we saved our 4,500 people as well as 2000 from other countries. India’s humanity even in grave situations like these is a part of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’,” he said.
Earlier, in her opening remarks External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj described the day-long conference of PIO Parliamentarians and Mayors as a “unique’’ event. She said that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was launched in 2003 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government was in power and January 9 was chosen as it marked the day when Mahatma Gandhi, the most celebrated Pravasi, had returned to India from South Africa.
She said that as many as 270 PIOs from 28 countries were MPs and 11 countries have more than a million Indians living there and all of them have emotional and cultural links with India.
The inaugural session was also attended by Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha M. Thambi Durai, Rajya Sabha Vice Chairman P.J. Kurien and the two Ministers of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar and General (Retd.) V.K. Singh. The biggest delegation of 20 MPs has come from Guyana.