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India committed to good ties with Pakistan: President

Last updated on: February 25, 2008 13:23 IST
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India will resume the dialogue process with Pakistan 'when conditions permit', President Pratibha Patil said on Monday.

"We are committed to peace, friendship and good neighbourly relations with Pakistan. A stable and prosperous Pakistan, at peace with itself, is in the interest of our entire region," she said in her maiden address to the joint sitting of the Budget session of Parliament.

"When conditions permit we will resume our dialogue process with Pakistan, aimed at building mutual confidence and resolving outstanding issues, premised on an atmosphere free from terror and violence," Patil said.

Observing that India attaches 'high importance' to its relations with China, Patil said: "Peace and tranquillity have been maintained on our border with China and both countries are determined that this should continue."

The Sino-Indian partnership has been 'further enhanced' and given a global dimension with the signing of a Shared Vision for the 21st Century during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China last month, she said.

Patil said India is committed to extend full support to Nepal's development during its political transition and 'stands ready to assist Nepalese people's choices in the transition to a democratic, stable and prosperous state'.      

Favouring a 'peaceful, stable and liberal democratic Bangladesh', the President said India hoped the people of Bangladesh will be able to exercise their will through free and fair elections for restoration of full democracy.

Terming as 'unfortunate' the increase in violence in Sri Lanka, Patil said: "We are clear that there can be no military solution to the ethnic issue. It is necessary to find a negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka that is acceptable to all sections of the society."    

Patil said India will continue to help Afghanistan in whatever manner it can in reconstruction efforts and in building pluralistic and prosperous society.

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