In an interview on wide-ranging topics like India's relationship with Pakistan and its Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India needs to be "alert and conscious" with Pakistan all the time. He also wondered with whom â€” the government or "other actors" â€” in the neighbouring country can one draw lines over conducting talks.
While acknowledging the other "actors" present in the country, he said that India would only work with the democratically elected civilian government. However, despite the Indian prime minister's camaraderie with his "personal friend" Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister, reports on Monday quoted Pakistan's top diplomat Sartaj Azis as saying that Sharif had written to 17 countries to block India's NSG bid. Aziz had claimed that the country lobbied against India's membership.
"The first thing is that with whom in Pakistan will you decide the 'lakshman rekha' -- with the elected government or with other actors? So India will have to be alert and conscious all the time. There should not be any laxity and negligence," Modi said in an interview with Times Now's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
Modi also said that India no longer has to convince the world over its policy on terrorism after he took steps like visiting Sharif in December 2015 in Lahore or inviting him to his swearing in ceremony in 2014.
"The world in one voice is praising India's role. Pakistan is finding it difficult to answer. The world is watching. If we remain an obstacle then we will have to convince the world that we are not like this," he said. "Earlier the world would not buy India's stand on terrorism and sometime it would even treat it as a law and order problem. Now the whole world is accepting what India says on terrorism... I believe India will have to continue putting forth its view on this matter."
On NSG membership
The Indian prime minister on Monday said that the process to become an NSG member started on a "positive note." Acknowledging that other governments have also made efforts towards India attaining membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Missile Technology Control Regime, United Nations Security Council and NSG, he said that he was "confident that we have begun efforts in the direction of the NSG (membership), formally."
He also said that India is trying to sort out problems with China one by one.