New Delhi - Indian President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said Pakistan should desist from acts that contribute to ‘trust deficit’. Addressing a joint sitting of the Parliament, he said, “With Pakistan, we have made progress towards normalisation of relations, strengthening mechanism for bilateral trade and facilitating greater people-to-people contact”.
The president said while India remains committed to taking the process forward, “it is also important that Pakistan abides by its commitments and desist from acts that contribute to a trust deficit”.
Pranab prefaced his remarks by saying that India continues to seek peace, stability, cooperation and economic development in the sub-continent. “We attach the highest priority to relations with our immediate neighbours”.
He also made it clear that as Afghanistan prepares for a political and security transition in 2014 and beyond, “we will continue to help Afghanistan evolve peacefully and fight terrorism and extremism”.
On China, the Indian president said his government intends to work with the new Chinese leadership to reinforce the positive direction of the bilateral relationship. “My government’s foreign policy continues to be driven by the objectives of creating an enabling environment for our national development, ensuring the security of the nation and fulfilling our international responsibilities”, he said.
Noting that the strategic partnership with the US has deepened with progress in all areas of the relationship, he said, “We look forward to intensifying this engagement during the second term of President Obama”.