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Must find out Pak's intentions before talks: Bhagwat

Source: PTI
October 29, 2009 23:16 IST
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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said India should find out the intentions of Pakistan and China before extending a hand of friendship as showing naivety or taking a weak stand would harm the country's interests.

"There is a lot of activity in Kashmir these days, but what will be the outcome? There is no problem in talking but we should understand what is on their (Pakistan's) mind.

Friendship should not be extended naively, but with proper understanding," the RSS chief said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday in Anantnag that India was ready to talk to Pakistan provided it acted against terrorists operating from its soil.

Bhagwat, however, said though India is peace loving and does not want to harm others, this does not mean it should not protect itself.

"Hand is shaken in friendship and also before a wrestling match. What are their intentions?" he asked.

The RSS chief also said foreign countries were building pressure on India through dialogue.

"We talk but what is happening behind the scenes is not known. There is no transparency," he said.

Bhagwat said India's prestige rose when it won two wars against Pakistan and also after the two atomic tests.

"Only when India becomes powerful they respect us. We need policies which make us powerful," he said.

Bhagwat emphasised that there was a need to change policies with time. "When RSS was formed (in 1925), there was no Pakistan, no jihadi terrorism, no concern for protecting our borders as we were not independent," he said.

The RSS chief said India had been fighting jihadi terrorism for long.

"We have been fighting them for long. They did not perish but neither did we," he said.

About the recent cases of terrorism where some Hindu right-wing organisations were allegedly involved, Bhagwat said, "Some people are trying to find Hindu terrorism, but it does not exist. Even Naxalism is branded as Hindu terrorism by those who make a living by profits from such talk."

He also spoke at length on the need for protecting Indian territory from Chinese incursions.

"China engages us and we should engage China in dialogue. But we should pay attention when China encircles us. It swallowed Tibet. We were not alert then. After November 2,

Maoists will become active in Nepal. And when Maoists become active there, whose influence will increase -- India or China?" he asked.

Bhagwat said if India did not pay heed to these developments then it would face challenges from China in Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.

The RSS leader said injustice had been done to Tibet and India should stand behind it.
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