Published On: Sat, Jan 4th, 2014
Published in Category: International

I would like to visit Pakistan: Manmohan

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said he does want to go to Pakistan before stepping down but the conditions must be “appropriate”.

Addressing a news conference here on Fridayé he said his visit can lead to a breakthrough in moving forward dialogue process with Pakistan and resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries.

He said good relations between the two countries are mandatory to bring an end to poverty. He said friendly and peaceful ties between Pakistan and India can guarantee prosperity and development in the region

Manmohan Singh said his country wants to have friendly relations with neighbors with a view to bring peace and stability in the region.

Asked why he had not gone to Pakistan since taking office in 2004, the prime minister said he “would very much like to go to Pakistan.

“I was born in a village which is now part of west Punjab. But as prime minister of the country, I should go to Pakistan if conditions are appropriate to achieve solid results.

“Ultimately I felt that the circumstances were not appropriate (to visit Pakistan). I still have not given up the hope of going to Pakistan before (giving up office).”

Singh said that South Asian countries now need to give priority to economic and social development to overcome rampant poverty, and good relations between India and Pakistan are very important for realizing development.