I hope to normalize ties with Pakistan: Indian PM

April 18, 2011 - 0:0

NEW DELHI (Dispatches) --Having taken up a commitment to normalize relations with Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that if he succeeded in the endeavor, it would be a job well done, The Hindu reported.

“Well, if I can succeed in normalizing relations between India and Pakistan as they should prevail between two normal states, I will consider my job well done,” Dr. Singh told accompanying journalists while returning from a five-day trip to China and Kazakhstan.
Asked to spell out five objectives he would like to achieve in the relationship with Pakistan, Dr. Singh quipped: “I think five is too much...”
Asked whether Anna Hazare's recent fast and the accompanying public support reflected an erosion of the country's political society, Dr. Singh said: “As far as Anna Hazareji is concerned, I respect (him) as an important leader who has done a lot of good work in rural development and this is why the whole country respects him.”
On his recent statement on the “shifting of power” to people and whether it had domestic context as well, Dr. Singh said: “There is both. We have to take note of the fact that the people's power is something to be reckoned with. It is also happening internationally, in the Middle East, North Africa.”
The prime minister, however, added that he would not “like to pronounce authoritatively that I have an answer to what has gone wrong in that region.”
Meanwhile, despite the nuclear crisis in Japan, Singh batted for nuclear power as an essential option of energy and said the present ""nervousness"" in the world would end when the issue is discussed in a ""cool-headed"" manner, Times of India reported.
""We are too close to Japanese disaster,"" he told when asked why he continued to pursue nuclear cooperation with various countries despite the experience in Fukushima in Japan where the crisis was triggered by radiation leak after tsunami hit nuclear plants.
Singh noted that in the aftermath of the disaster, ""there is certain amount of nervousness over extensive use of nuclear power.""
He, however, said that he was ""convinced that all said and done, when cool-headed discussions take place on the future of energy, what are the problems with coal (reserves), what are the problems of other hydrocarbons in terms of impact on climate change, there would be reconsideration of the role of nuclear energy as one of the essential options which all countries must keep to deal with problems like climate change and energy security.