Modi says India does not eye anyone's territory
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India does not eye anyone's territory and resources, asserting that its model of development aid was not based on "give and take", comments which come amid increasing Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the sub-continent.
Addressing the first conference of persons of Indian origin (PIO) parliamentarians from across the globe, Modi also asked them to invest in India and act as a catalyst for the country's growth. The event is being held to mark the 102nd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.
The prime minister said India has always played a constructive role in the world and that Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence can counter extremism and radicalisation.
"India is that country which has always played a constructive role in the world arena. We do not measure our policy towards any nation by profit or loss but view it through the prism of human values," he said.
He further said India's model of development aid is not based on giving and take and it depends on requirement and priority of the countries concerned.
"We neither have the intention of exploiting anyone's resources nor are we eye anyone's territory. Our focus has always been on capacity building and resource development," he said.
Modi's comments come in the backdrop of China's deepening ties with some South Asian nations and providing them with substantial financial aid, which, some experts feel, may draw India's neighbours including Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal towards Beijing. India has been traditionally providing development aid to these countries.
The day-long conference is being attended by 134 elected representatives from 24 countries including France, Fiji, Switzerland and Mauritius.
"At a time when ideologies divide the world, India believes in the mantra of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'," Modi said and asked them to spread India's message of inclusiveness.
He further said, "If there is any philosophy to counter radicalisation and extremism, it is the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the philosophy of Indian values," he said.
Addressing the gathering, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj credited Modi's leadership for India's growing stature globally.
The prime minister said India, with its rich values and traditions, has the power to lead and guide the world dealing with instability.
Modi also called on Indian origin lawmakers from across the world to be partners in India's development and act as catalysts in the country's economic growth.