Indian premier defends nuclear deal with US on Independence Day

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his Independence Day speech Friday, strongly defended his government's decision to pursue a civilian nuclear deal with the United States and talked of the need for political consensus to battle issues like terrorism, extremism and communalism, dpa reported.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in New Delhi after unfurling the national flag, Singh dwelled on a range of issues, including relations with Pakistan.

Security was tight in the capital, especially near the Red Fort, with snipers standing guard on tall buildings and a no-fly zone imposed overhead as the prime minister spoke.

His address was largely in the nature of an election speech, totting up the achievements of his 4-year-old government.

Singh's minority government, which narrowly survived a vote of confidence in Parliament a few weeks ago, is to complete its term in May.

"Our economy must grow at the rate of at least 10 per cent every year to get rid of poverty and generate employment for all," Singh said. "A basic requirement for sustained growth is availability of energy, particularly electricity. All over the world, there is growing realization of the importance of atomic energy to meet the challenge of energy security and climate change."

The recent blasts at the Indian embassy in Kabul cast a shadow on efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan, Singh said. "I have personally conveyed my concern and disappointment to the government of Pakistan," he added.

"If this issue of terrorism is not addressed, all the good intentions that we have for our two peoples to live in peace and harmony will be negated," he said. "... The terrorists and those who support them are enemies of the people of India and Pakistan."

But in large part, Singh talked about the issues of economic development and his government's focus on ending poverty and providing a "new deal for rural India" through incentives for farmers and investment in rural infrastructure.

The prime minister also called for an end to divisive politics, referring to the recent developments in northern Jammu and Kashmir state, where at least 40 people have died over the past month as Hindu and Muslim protestors clashed with security forces in a land row.

Describing terrorism, extremism, communalism and fundamentalism as major challenges to the unity and integrity of India, Singh said the recent terrorist attacks in major cities had underlined the need to strengthen intelligence agencies and police forces.

"We will examine the functioning of our intelligence agencies and police and security forces and take all possible steps to equip them to tackle this challenge," he said. "Whatever resources are required, will be provided. Whatever manpower is required will be provided."

But, he added, the foremost need to face these challenges was to confront them united: "This requires a politics of consensus, not confrontation. This requires dialogue among communities, not discord."

Scores of diplomats and dignitaries, including diplomats based in Delhi, were among the audience at the Red Fort.

Similar flag-hoisting ceremonies were held in state capitals across India and in schools, colleges and residential colonies.

India gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947.

Issue of restoring operation of Central Asian Unified Energy System under consideration
Issue of restoring operation of Central Asian Unified Energy System under consideration
Kyrgyzstan reports 81 new COVID-19 cases
Kyrgyzstan reports 81 new COVID-19 cases
Israel ready to deepen bilateral relations with Kyrgyzstan
Israel ready to deepen bilateral relations with Kyrgyzstan
Loading Bars
Latest
Money transfers from Azerbaijan to Russia down in 2Q2020
Vaezi: Legal proceedings underway to receive South Korea's debts
Turkmenistan to help Afghanistan complete railway to Tajikistan border
Exports of knitwear from Georgia to Turkey down
Kazakhstan raises chemicals import from Turkey
Mali risks 'economic paralysis' from post-coup embargo: trade group
New residents in Azerbaijan’s Balakhani Industrial Park
Georgia slightly ups import of grain, legumes from Turkey
Iran, Russia seeking to expand scientific cooperation
Italy's goods export to Kazakhstan down twofold
Anglo Asian Mining increases payments to shareholders
Uzbekistan slightly reduces imports of leather goods from Turkey
Chairman of State Duma of Federal Assembly of Russia talks Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity (PHOTO)
Get rewarded with Azercell!
Chairman of Public Organization of Udi people thanks Azerbaijan
Agricultural production up in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan
Iran's plan to develop paddy fields fails, farmers demand compensation
Iranian trucks carrying tomatoes stuck at Pakistani border
Saudi Arabia explores wind potential in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan to purchase COVID-19 vaccine
Iran to develop power cooperation with Afghanistan
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale September 26
IranAir to resume flights to Germany after several months
Volume of cargo movement through Azerbaijani ports increases
Iran discloses volume of wheat purchased in Ardabil Province
Energy Community: 2020 - remarkable year in terms of Georgia's ability to continue on its reform path
Iran to announce decisive decisions on combating COVID-19
Kazakhstan taking measures to increase railway border stations capacities
Tesla expects approval for battery cells plant in Berlin
UK Brexit border delays 'likely to worsen' in January
Georgia sees decrease in car re-exports
Import of Turkish clothes by Iran plunges
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Parliament speaker: Azerbaijani people to never allow creation of second Armenian state on their territory (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan confirms 173 more COVID-19 recoveries
Oil accounts for major part of exports from Azerbaijan to Croatia, says ministry
Volume of gas consumption in Iran revealed
Austrian OMV oil company to start gas exploration in Georgia
EAEU countries increase export of dairy products to Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan’s Oil Construction Company to buy pipes via tender
All activities for Ionian Adriatic Pipeline postponed: Croatian Ministry
Turkey's clothes export to Uzbekistan slumps
Russia eyes to build nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan
Vladimir Putin: Increase of excess income tax rates is justified step
Extraction plan for Iran's South Pars gas field determined
Azerbaijan, ADB discuss prospects for expanding cooperation (PHOTO)
Iran to begin studies related to Sanandaj-Bashmakh route
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy electric generators
Review of dairy products exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
Israel's Mobileye, Dubai's Habtoor partner on self-driving cars
Georgia exports first batch of honey to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan developing vaccination strategy against coronavirus
Auction on placement of Azerbaijani Central Bank's short-term notes held
ADB talks opportunities for financing of projects in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's crude oil exports to Netherlands surge in 1H2020
Turkmen company plans to cover domestic demand for viscose thread
Volume of lending in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic increases
Volume of maritime cargo transshipment from S.Korea via Turkey detailed
Ukrainian International Airlines FlyUIA announces flights to Georgia
Kazakhstan's passenger cars export value to Azerbaijan revealed
Turkmen company for polypropylene production thread revealed export volumes
Turkish BOTAS discloses volume of oil shipment from Ceyhan terminal
Iran declares volume of areas put into operation in agricultural parks
Revenues of Azerbaijani Nakhchivan's mobile communication operators up
Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament: Armenian PM's statements undermine international efforts for peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict
Georgia's import of tubes, pipes, hollow profiles from Turkey up
Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit exceeds volume of oil production
Non-cash payments getting increasingly popular in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s QAZAQ AIR resuming flights on more domestic routes
Foreign trade turnover of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan grows
Iran imports flu vaccine as possible medicine against COVID-19
Paris Eiffel tower evacuated
World GDP spent on energy to be halved by 2050
RAEX: Structural reforms in public sector of Uzbekistan’s economy to support the economic development
AZAL launches special flights to Ankara and Antalya
Turkey remains main importer of flours, meals, pellets from Georgia
Ways for decarbonizing operations of oil & gas companies
China's import of ready-made clothing from Turkey spikes
Geostat reveals volume of ferroalloys exported by Georgia to Turkey
Construction of Ashgabat-Turkmenabat highway continues
Asian Development Bank expanding support program in Azerbaijan
Oil & gas industry to become world’s carbon waste disposal agent
Number of people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran exceeds 430,000
Georgians traveling to Estonia to be obliged to go through 14-day self-isolation
Value of exports from Iran’s Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province climbs
GDP data of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan revealed
Georgia reveals volume of fish exported to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's State Service on Property Issues to put up several enterprises for auction
Iran reveals details of exports from Yazd Province
Georgia reduces import of medicaments from Turkey
Iran threatens to exit from NPT and JCPOA
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy equipment
Mayor of Israeli city: Azerbaijan no doubt very tolerant country
Russia increases volume of cement imports from Turkey
Iran discloses amount of currency returned to country economy
Bulgarian MEP: Azerbaijani oil, gas pipelines strongly contribute to pan-European energy security
SOCAR Energoresource, Tyumen Oblast ink agreement on socio-economic cooperation
Azerbaijani president, first lady view landscaping work carried out in Balakhani settlement (PHOTO)
Inflation rate grows in Iran
All news