Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Friday that there was nothing wrong in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden stopover in Pakistan. He said the idea was to improve bilateral relations and talks with the democratically-elected government in Pakistan would strengthen democracy and discourage “other forces” in the neighbouring country.
Stating that those who did not want peace were trying to derail the process, Nitish said then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had covered a long distance in normalising relationships with Pakistan and it was time people in India thought about moving forward with the neighour.
Nitish’s remarks assume political significance as the Opposition has slammed the Modi government’s Pakistan policy, especially in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack.
The Bihar CM, speaking on the sidelines of a function in Patna, said: “My opinion is that there was nothing wrong with Modi’s Pakistan visit. It was a nice gesture to go and wish his Pakistan counterpart on his birthday and attend a marriage function.”
Saying peace should be given another chance, he said: “This is the second term of a democratically-elected government in Pakistan…. Pakistan may not be a strong democracy like India, but any bid that can strengthen democracy there should be welcomed. The country has many other forces at work. Our talks would discourage such forces and strengthen ties.”