New Delhi, Aug.15 : The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Friday that the Indian Government's goal in South Asia is to seek a peaceful, stable and prosperous neighborhood.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of its 62nd Independence Day, Dr. Singh said: "We seek to accelerate the pace of social and economic development in our country and our region, while safeguarding our national security. Our foreign policy has been based on these principles."
He further added: "We wish all our neighbors well. We welcome the strengthening of democratic forces in our neighborhood, especially in Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. The recent blasts in our Embassy in Kabul have cast a shadow over our efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan and to bring a lasting and honorable peace in our region. I have personally conveyed my concern and disappointment to the Government of Pakistan."
He also said that in the last year, the government has strengthened relations with the major powers, Latin American countries, Arab countries and African countries.
"We will continue our efforts in this direction, keeping in view our national interests," he added.
"India is today viewed with respect as one of the world's fastest growing economies. People of Indian Origin are engaged in diverse activities around the world and their capabilities are recognized the world over. Their achievements inspire us. The world today expects India to regain its due place in the comity of nations. This is a moment of opportunity for us," Dr. Singh said, adding that Indians were rapidly marching forward to regain their rightful place in the comity of nations.
"To reach that goal we have a lot of work to do at home. We have to overcome each of the challenges I have spoken about. We have to forge a greater unity of purpose between various political parties, between different communities, between all sections of our society, rich and poor. We have to manage our natural and financial resources more prudently. We have an obligation to our future generations. We cannot think only for ourselves. We cannot think only about survival from day to day, from year to year and from one election to another. We have to think about the welfare and well-being of our children and grandchildren, their grandchildren and future generations," he said.
A resolve to work together as a nation would ensure that nothing was impossible to achieve, he concluded.