Peace talks and terrorism cannot go hand in hand: Venkaiah

Maintaining that India wanted good neighbourly relationship, Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Pakistan should stop funding terrorists and cannot expect peace talks when there is continuous firing across the border.

“Peace talks and terrorism cannot go hand in hand,” Naidu told reporters tonight, replying to a specific question on the cross-border firing, which was intensifying in the border.

“India has never initiated an attack or been the aggressor but they (Pakistan) should give up the attitude of intimidating,” he said.

When asked whether Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal, Bhutan and Japan was part of China containment policy, Naidu, denying it, said India would establish a friendly relationship with all its neighbours including China.

“Even as the government is sensitive to the issues of Tamils in Sri Lanka, India needs to maintain friendly relationship with Sri Lanka as well as the island nation would incline towards other neighbours,” he said.

Calling for a reformist approach for an effective urban development, he said local bodies, the state and the Centre should work together in that direction.

As the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has ended in March, the government has proposed to launch a mission that would focus on a holistic development, Naidu, who was here to attend an interaction programme “Meet and Greet”, said.

The Swachh Bharat Mission of the Government will soon be a reality and the economy will be rejuvenated with the help of the agencies that have been instituted by the government to unearth black money.

Stating that good governance and development was the priority of the present government, he said linking of rivers and housing for all by 2022, will be some of the most ambitious projects.

Under the new government, the GDP growth went to 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal, as against 4.6 per cent in the corresponding period last year, Naidu said.