Modi wants to bury hatchet with U.S., seeks to build on future

Narendra ModiGandhinagar (Gujarat), Apr 16 - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday struck a statesman like tone, when he said he wanted to bury a thorny personal relationship with the United States (U. S.) and build on a future that will keep New Delhi's interest at the top.

Modi told Smita Prakash, Editor (News) Asian News International (ANI), in an exclusive interview held here that he would do his best for India.

"Who said what for Modi is a thing of the past. The country runs on the future, and not in the past. Whatever is good for India, will be done", said the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

Talking about nuclear-armed Pakistan, Modi said India's cultural ethos stands for unity, amity and dignity.

"In today's world, we have to move forward together - fights and wars don't help anyone, but we want to live with dignity, we respect others dignity, and that is what our tradition says," he said.

He said he would pursue a policy of continuity based on the approach of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who declared a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons after ordering the tests in 1998.

Speaking about India's foreign policy, Modi said only by mutual collaboration, would the country achieve both success and development.

"My upbringing says that we believe the whole world is one family - we live in the 21st century, it is time to meet eyes, rather than show eyes, we should neither bow down nor be stared at-we have to work with everyone together," Modi said.

Opinion polls are now predicting the BJP and its allies to win a narrow majority in the world's largest democratic election while forecasting a major dip in the fortunes of the Congress party.

Pakistan does not have a no first policy and is building nuclear weapons programme designed to deter India and neutralise its much larger conventional military.

India also has concerns about China, which has bigger military as well as more advanced strategic weapons arsenal. Some members of the strategic establishment said it had been 10 years since the doctrine had been released and it was time to revisit it.

The BJP is leading the race to win the election, and according to the latest opinion poll, may even secure a simple majority in parliament, allowing it greater room in decision-making. (ANI)