New Delhi, Jan 19: India is a symbol of peace and there is no need for it to adopt a hawkish foreign policy, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said today. "Idea of India is symbol of peace. There is no need to adopt hawkish (foreign) policy. We are naturally a soft power. But soft does not mean weak.
We have to be firm and strong in our resolve," he said at a function organised on the occasion of foundation day of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Rijiju's comments came at a time when his senior in the Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh, has made it clear that India would give "befitting" reply to Pakistan's firing towards Indian posts and civilian areas. The Minister of State for Home said India's basic behaviours is soft and it must not adopt a hawkish agenda towards its neighbours.
"We must not agree to posture of war but have to be firm and responsible, besides being a stable power," he said. Earlier, delivering the second R V Raju memorial lecture on 'Pakistan and Neighbourhood: A Hawkish Agenda', senior journalist Shekhar Gupta highlighted various aspects of India's influence, including its democracy, on the neighbouring countries. R V Raju, a former IPS officer was the first DG of NIA. "We can have good influence on our neighbours, we can have bad influence on our neighbours. Neighbours always look upon us," Gupta said.
Gupta said peaceful change of government in India through democratic process is a clean idea for its neighbours to follow. "Every time a government is changed in India peacefully, it tells all its neighbours that this is what a country should do," he said. Gupta said India has been pursuing a particular foreign policy for Pakistan and another policy for the rest of its neighbours. He said New Delhi's approach towards Islamabad has to be changed as it would reduce temper and all insecurity will go away.