Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that India wishes to maintain not just good but friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries, including Pakistan.
Singh further said that if India did not intend to maintain good relations with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not have invited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif during the oath-taking ceremony last year.
"We had clearly indicated our intentions on the day of the oath ceremony. We had even invited Pakistan (Prime Minister) for the ceremony. If we never had intentions of maintaining good relations with Pakistan then Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not have invited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif for the swearing-in-ceremony," Rajnath Singh told a news agency here.
"And I would like to very clearly mention that Pakistan is our neighbouring country. In fact, we want to maintain not just good relations but friendly relations with all our neighbouring countries. As Atal Bihari Vajpayee would always say, 'Friends change, but neighbours don't'. There is no lack in our efforts in trying to keep up the relations. Rest is up to Pakistan," he added.
Highlighting the efforts being made by Prime Minister Modi-led NDA Government in trying to improve the security situation in Kashmir, Singh said that the opposition cannot question the Centre's intention.
"I am confident that the situation in Kashmir would not worsen. We will try our level best but we also need the people's support to improve the security situation in the region. We want the region to develop because Jammu and Kashmir is considered one of the most beautiful states in the country. Our government is trying its best to improve the situation in the state," said Rajnath Singh.
"All I can say is that the opposition can point finger at our policies and debate over them but cannot question our intentions," he added.
The Union Home Minister visited the Amarnath cave shrine today.
Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday reviewed the security situation in the state in general and Amarnath Yatra in particular at a meeting in Srinagar.
Representatives of the State Administration and Police Department besides Security Agencies and Central Armed Police Forces were present.
Rajnath directed the officials for sharing of inputs and coordinate with each other for better security arrangements. He took stock of the security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra and various facilities including food, medicines and telecom connectivity along the route and pilgrim camps.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh was present during the meeting.