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PM says India does not eye anyone's territory, asks PIOs to act as catalyst

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi  said India does not eye anyone's territory and resources, asserting that its model of development aid was not based on "give and take", comments which come amid increasing Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the sub-continent.

Addressing the first conference of persons of Indian origin (PIO) parliamentarians from across the globe, Modi also asked them to invest in India and act as catalyst in the country's growth. The event is being held to mark 102nd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.

The prime minister said India has always played a constructive role in the world and that Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence can counter extremism and radicalisation.

"India is that country which has always played a constructive role in the world arena. We do not measure our policy towards any nation on the basis of profit or loss but view it through the prism of human values," he said.

He further said India's model of development aid is not based on give and take and it depends on requirement and priority of the countries concerned.

"We neither have the intention of exploiting anyone's resources nor are we eye anyone's territory. Our focus has always been on capacity building and resource development," he said.

Modi's comments comes in the backdrop of China's deepening ties with some South Asian nations and providing them with huge financial aid, which, some experts feel, may draw India's neighbours including Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal towards Beijing. India has been traditionally providing development aid to these countries.

The day-long conference is being attended by 134 elected representatives from 24 countries including France, Fiji, Switzerland and Mauritius. "At a time when the world is divided by ideologies, India believes in the mantra of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'," Modi said and asked them to spread India's message of inclusiveness.

He further said, "If there is any philosophy to counter radicalisation and extremism, it is the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the philosophy of Indian values," he said.

Addressing the gathering, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj credited Modi's leadership for India's growing stature globally.

The prime minister said India, with its rich values and traditions, has the power to lead and guide the world dealing with instability.

Modi also called on Indian origin lawmakers from across the world to be partners in India's development and act as catalysts in the country's economic growth.

He said in the last three-four years, the entire world's view of India has been changing and today, the world's focus on India is increasing."Besides economic and social change, change is taking place at thinking level (vaicharik) also...Expectations of people of India at present is at highest level. You will see result of irreversible changes in every sector," Modi said.

Talking about economic reforms undertaken by his government, he said it fetched USD 60 billion FDI in 2016-17. He also asked the diaspora community to take advantage of government's 'visiting adjunct joint research faculty' under which they can work up to three months in India.

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