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Infiltration has not decreased: Fernandes
Binita Parikh in Ahmedabad | June 24, 2003 02:11 IST
Defence Minister George Fernandes on Monday said infiltration from Pakistan has not decreased, adding India will wait for it to come down before talking to Pakistan.
On his recent trip to China and the Sino-Indian relationship, he said it was time to move forward by forgetting the past.
"China's dream is to become world's economic power by 2020 and the officials I met stressed that they wanted friendship across the border," Fernandes said.
On his talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, he said, "The prime minister told me that China was facing the problem of unemployment, spiralling well above 40 million mark, regional imbalance, as the eastern China has developed faster than the western China, and development of rural China."
"After my interactions with Chinese officials, I felt that there was a need for misunderstandings and tensions between India and China to take a back seat," he said.
"In fact, their prime minister told me that India and China has a long history of friendly relationship of 2,200 years. He had stressed that it was only in 0.1 per cent of this time that we had strained relationship. It was time to re-establish the 99.9 per cent time i.e time of smooth Indo-China relationship," Fernandes said.
Clearly wanting to avoid the pitfalls and negative points that lead to strains in the relationship, he said, "It is not advisable to just live in the past. Else, we will not be able to build the present and will negate our future."
"We need to take decisions and move on. Nationalism is not just about mere sloganeering but means taking decisions and putting them in practice," he added.
Fernandes was on a day's visit in the city for the Ekta Sammelan of the Samata Party.