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Advani asks Indian diaspora to help develop motherland

February 03, 2003 12:55 IST
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Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on Monday asked the Indian diaspora to join hands with the people in India in transforming the country to a developed nation, at a gathering of prominent Indians living in Singapore at a reception hosted by Indian High Commissioner P P Shukla.

"A spirit of confidence, determination and resolve needs to be instilled among the leadership and the people," he said, asking if various nations "communist or capitalist can at least fulfil the minimum needs of the people, why can't we do it".

Paying tributes to astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died in Saturday's crash of American space shuttle Columbia, he said Indians abroad had achieved laurels wherever they have settled down and there were hosts of examples like that of Kalpana which instilled confidence.

"For a girl (Kalpana) to achieve this kind of glory is of a nature that heightens our confidence," Advani said.

Referring to the Singaporean economy, which had ade  "remarkable transformation" in a short time, Advani said India had the potential to transform itself by fulfilling the basic needs of the people.

Stating that India's failure on this count was "not entirely due to the wrong economic strategies" followed by erstwhile governments, he said the government was "correcting the economic strategies to some extent. And the corrective measures are within the political framework and our democratic set up".

Describing India as a functional democracy, he said all doomsday predictions that the country's political set up would not continue after the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had been proved wrong.

On the security situation, he said his visit to Singapore and Thailand was also aimed at having "greater cooperation in counter-terrorism and security" as terrorism had become a global phenomenon after the terror strikes in the US, Moscow and Bali.

Without naming Pakistan, Advani said India was facing the challenge for the past decades from a country, which has adopted terrorism as "an instrument of war" after having failed in overt wars in the past.

"No week goes when I, Defence Minister George Fernandes and External Affairs Minister, earlier Jaswant Singh and now Yashwant Sinha, have to interact. We are determined to see that they don't succeed in their overt or covert wars," he said.

Advani will call on Singapore President S R Nathan,  Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and hold talks with Home Minister Wong Ken Sang on Tuesday.

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