India took initiative to revive talks with Pakistan: Report

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) India has taken the initiative to revive the dialogue process with Pakistan, said an official report by the Ministry of External Affairs released on Monday.

The report said India took the “initiative to revive a dialogue process with Pakistan”, thus reiterating its commitment to peace and shared development in South Asia while keeping a firm focus on addressing issues related to terrorism.

India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy contributed to renewed energy, vigour and planning in New Delhi’s engagement with the rest of the world between April 2015 and March 2016, it said.

“The immediate neighbourhood remained the area of greatest attention and emphasis during this period, under an articulated policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’,” said the annual report.

According to it, high-level engagements, both formal and informal, focused on normalising relations between the two countries, paving the way towards a meaningful dialogue.

With Bangladesh, “a historic boundary agreement (signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in June 2015) brought new hope not only to the lives of people living in enclaves on either side of the border but to the overall confidence and trust levels between the two countries”.

During the April 2015 Nepal earthquake which killed thousands, India established “role of a responsible provider of emergency relief and long-term reconstruction in the region, and won widespread public appreciation for the speed and efficacy”, the report said.

“Prime Minister Modi’s China visit in May 2015 was a significant landmark in our bilateral engagement,” it said.

In this period, relations with other world powers such as the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Russia also took a new direction.

“India leveraged relationships to increase the flow of trade, investment and technologies into the economy,” the report added.

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