New Delhi, Mar 05 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday assured the newly elected leadership in Pakistan of maintaining good relations and peace between the two countries.
Replying to a debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address in the Lok Sabha, he stressed, "India wants to live in peace with Pakistan, keeping the past behind. The destinies of our nations are interlinked."
He also emphasised the need for thinking about collective destiny, collective security, and collective prosperity with Pakistan. Singh brought it to everyone's notice that leaders of the main political parties had proposed in their first pronouncement after the recent elections in Pakistan to develop close relations with India.
Singh surprised Bharatiya Janata Party leaders by terming the steps taken by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his then Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif as "most courageous" to maintain peace.
"I hope that the newly elected leaders in Pakistan would quickly move forward with us on this," he said.
Singh extended the warmest good wishes of the people and the Government of India to the Pakistani people for choosing a democratic path. He said, " India wants peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia and mutually beneficial relations with all our neighbours, major powers and economic partners."
Singh's statement assumes significance in the wake of the two countries activating a composite dialogue process since 2004 to address key issues of bilateral dispute.
Meetings between ministers, officials and experts of the two countries have been taking place with regularity. Since then a number of progressive steps have been taken.