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India does not need to adopt hawkish foreign policy: Rijiju

India does not need to adopt a hawkish foreign policy stance but just has to be firm and responsible in its dealing with its neighbours, Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, said on Monday. At a function to mark the foundation day of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), he also said that although there were apprehensions about such organisations in the country, the NIA has proved that these were ill-founded.

“Idea of India is as a symbol of peace. There is no need to adopt hawkish (foreign) policy. We are naturally a soft power. But soft does not mean weak. We have to be firm, responsible and strong in our resolve,” he said.

Rijiju’s comments come at a time when his senior in the Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh, has made it clear that India would give a “fitting” reply to Pakistan on any instance of firing by its troops on Indian posts and civilian areas.

The Minister of State for Home said that India’s basic behaviour is soft and it must not adopt a hawkish agenda towards its neighbours.

“We must not agree to a posture of war but have to be firm and responsible, besides being a stable power,” he said.

Meanwhile, lauding the NIA, he said, “There have been apprehensions among the states about organisations like NIA and NCTC. But the NIA has proved that the apprehensions were ill-founded.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he was earlier the CM of Gujarat, had strongly opposed the previous UPA’s move to create the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), saying it would “infringe” on the powers of the states. Given the opposition from several states, NCTC is yet to come into existence.
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