India interested in improving ties with Pakistan: Jaitley

NEW YORK: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that India is interested in improving relationship with Pakistan, however progress of bilateral relations depends on the kind of “provocation” that comes from Pakistan, according to a report published in Indian paper.


On a ten day visit to US, Jaitley said at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think-tank, that the onus of creating an environment for improving Indo-Pak ties and normalising the bilateral relationship lies more on Pakistan.

He remarked that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s relations with its neighbours have improved.

“There was a time not so long ago when India was in the midst of a disturbed neighbourhood. A number of problems with that disturbed neighbourhood were spilling into India,”Jaitley said.

Jaitley also lauded Modi for developing an “excellent relationship” with the Chinese leadership.

“The Prime Minister has particularly developed an excellent relationship even with the Chinese leadership. We have a boundary issue with them. And the boundary issue is unresolved. There are other several issues related to China, which are issues of our concern. But at least the tense situation around the boundary doesn’t exist,” Jaitley said.

A few weeks ago a series of inflammatory remarks from both Indian and Pakistani sides had seemingly soured the already fragile relationship between the two states but then things thawed after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In his call, Modi extended Ramazan greetings to the Nawaz and announced India’s decision to free Pakistani fishermen.

Senior politicians and cabinet members from India and Pakistan earlier both have issued fiery statements, threatening military attacks and blaming the other for supporting terrorism in insurgency-hit areas in respective countries.