DUBAI: Clearing the air that he wants peaceful relations with Pakistan in case his party is elected to power in the general elections in April this year, Congress President Rahul Gandhi added that it will not be at the cost of “violence against innocent citizens.”
“I want peaceful relations with Pakistan but will not tolerate violence against innocent citizens of my country and that is the central issue here,” he said.
As part of his two-day visit to the UAE, Gandhi thanked the country’s leadership and the local Indian community for a warm welcome, before opening the floor for questions.
Responding to several media personalities, he said attracting more investments to India was fundamentally connected to the political environment of the country. “Right now India is facing a 14-year low. India is known for its peaceful environment but this has been tarnished by the present government,” he said, adding that demonetization and incorrect implementation of the Goods and Services Tax had further destroyed the economy.
He pledged to win back the trust of [Indian] institutions and to make the environment more conducive for international organizations to invest in India, adding that job creation would remain a priority.
Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of breaking the trust of not only Indians but the international community as well, reasoning that just like the UAE, India, too, has strong health and education sectors which could benefit both the countries and the rest of the world.
Citing several instances of abuse of power, Gandhi said that Modi is currently being held hostage by the Rafael scam.
Detailing the modus operandi of his political strategy in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – which is the country’s most populous province and enjoys a significant share in the performance of the government – Gandhi said that the Congress will be involved in an ideological fight with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said anyone could win from UP, but he was sure that the BJP would not be coming back to power.
Gandhi’s two-day trip included an address to the Indian community at the Dubai Cricket Stadium, a meeting with laborers, university students, members of the business community, and the UAE leadership.
Commending the UAE for its Year of Tolerance, he said he was inspired by the initiative. “The idea of tolerance, of working and living together is very inspiring. It is an Indian idea but, unfortunately, was taken away by our government,” he said.
Acknowledging the contributions made by Indian expatriates in the UAE, he said that the NRIs were a very powerful asset of India which needed to be utilized, urging them to not lose hope just yet. “Great things are going to happen in India very soon,” he said, before concluding the discussion.