Good relations between India, Pakistan essential for sub-continent: PM

New Delhi, Jan 4, IRNA – Good relations between India and Pakistan are very essential for this sub-continent to realize its full development potential to get rid of poverty ignorance and disease, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday in New Delhi.

Addressing a press conference, Singh was asked will you feel historic opportunities on India-Pak ties were missed.

“I have tried to improve relations with all our neighbors to the best of my ability. At one time, it appeared that an important breakthrough was in sight. Events in Pakistan, for example, the fact that General Musharraf had to make way for a different setup, I think that led to the process not moving further,” said Manmohan addressing the press conference.

He however said, “I still believe that good relations between India and Pakistan are very essential for this sub-continent to realize its full development potential, to get rid of poverty, ignorance and disease, which has been the inevitable lot of millions and millions of people in this sub-continent of ours.”

Replying, on another query why he never visited Pakistan, the Indian prime minister expressed hope for visiting Pakistan within the next four months.

“I would very much like to go to Pakistan. I was born in a village which is now part of west Punjab. But as the prime minister of the country, I should go to visit Pakistan if conditions are appropriate to achieve solid results. I have thought of it many times, but ultimately I felt that the circumstances were not appropriate for my visit. I still have not given up hope of going to Pakistan before I complete my tenure as prime minister”.

The press conference, just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, was the second during Manmohan Singh's second term as the prime minister which began in May 2009. It was the third full-fledged press conference in the entire 10 years that he has been the prime minister.

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