Pratibha Patil
Indian President, Pratibha PatilPIB

President of India Pratibha Patil conveyed the wish that all nations in South Asia should prosper and have political and economic stability and said that India was committed to resolve Indo-Pak issues through dialogue.

"We are committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through dialogue," said the President during the joint Parliament session on the first day of the budget session.

"We look forward to building upon the progress made so far mindful of the need for Pakistan to take credible action against terrorist groups and the related infrastructure on its soil," she added.

The President also said that active measures were being undertaken to maintain the three armed services as a modern and evolving force capable of meeting the security challenges of the future, including coastal security.

"Our focus is on enhancing domestic defence production capabilities as well as achieving technological self-reliance in weapons and delivery systems.  In the years ahead, our aim is to make our Armed Forces among the technologically most advanced in the world," said the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.

In the area of internal security, Pratibha Patil said: "My government has launched a number of measures towards development of areas affected by Left Wing Extremism. The Integrated Action Plan with an outlay of 3,300 crore in the last two years has brought development to the villages in the most backward and violence-affected districts of the country. The Plan, which was being implemented so far in 60 districts, has been extended to 78 districts."

Pointing out that the security situation in the North Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir has shown considerable improvement during the last year, she said "my government has shown that acts of violence can be contained with a firm but humane approach."

"My government has always been willing to enter into dialogue with any group willing to abjure the path of violence. It is encouraging that a number of organisations have come forward seeking resolution of their grievances in a peaceful manner," she added.