Pak should desist from acts contributing to trust deficit:President

President

Against the backdrop of the beheading of an Indian soldier on the LoC, President Pranab Mukherjee today said Pakistan should desist from acts that contribute to "trust deficit".

In his address to the joint sitting of 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 desists from acts that contribute to a trust deficit".

Pakistan Army regulars had infiltrated inside Indian territory in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and killed and

mutilated the bodies of Lance Naiks Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj

on January eight.

The President 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 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.

As regards to Sri Lanka, he said, "We are making efforts

in our engagement with Sri Lanka, including in our efforts to

resettle and rehabilitate the internally displaced persons

there and to ensure a life of peace, dignity and equality for

the Tamil people".

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