Riyadh, Mar 1: Terming the improvement of Indo-Pak relationship as crucial for the development of the South Asia,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday, Mar 1, that India was willing to go extra miles in building relationship, if Pakistan was willing to cooperate.
"We seek cooperative relations with Pakistan. Our objective is a permanent peace because we recognise that we are bound together by a shared future. If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia as a whole," Singh said.
Singh, who is in on a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia said that Pakistan's cooperation was neccesssary to make the vision a reality.
"If Pakistan cooperates with India, there is no problem that we cannot solve and we can walk the extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries," Singh said, while addressing the Majlis-al-Shura or the Saudi Consultative Council.
Singh said that both India and Saudi Arabia are faced with similar threats of terrorism.
"History teaches us that the scourge of terrorism must be confronted with determination and united effort.
Expressing his concern for Afghanistan, the prime minister said that the nation deserves peace and a life of dignity.
"The people of Afghanistan have suffered for too long. They deserve an atmosphere of peace and the opportunity to pursue a life of dignity and hope," the Prime Minister said.
Singh said that war cannot be made a criteria for pursuing any religion or any other cause or grievance and is unacceptable to civilised societies.
"It has no sanction in any religion."
Seeking support for Afghanistan from the international community, Singh appealed assistance for all sections of Afghan society who aspires to developed Afghanistan as a modern, stable and sovereign nation.
"No sanctuary should be given to those who promote terror, violence or instability in the country."
In his address to the members of the legislative body that advises the Saudi King, Singh said that India has always worked towards uplifting Islam in the country.
"India has made significant contributions to all aspects of Islamic civilisation. Centres of Islamic learning in India have made a seminal contribution to Islamic and Arab studies," he said.
"Our 160 million Muslims are contributing to our nation building efforts and have excelled in all walks of life. We are proud of our composite culture...," he said.