India faces no serious external threat: PM

February 15th, 2008 - 10:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh feels India faces no “serious external threat” to its ambition to become a global power. He was releasing Friday evening a book “India to be a global power” written by veteran Congressman Vasant Sathe.

Departing from the prepared text, the prime minister said, “India does not face any serious external threat to realize its ambition. Our problems are here. Our challenges are here.”

He said, “The things we do and the things we do not do will have a profound consequence on our ability to emerge as a truly global power,” and added, “An internally divided and divisive society cannot project an external image of strength and power.”

Referring to some readymade formulae suggested by Sathe to achieve economic self-reliance and political stability, he said, “Unless all sections of society feel they are part of the processes of change and processes of empowerment, we will not be able to move forward as a nation.”

He also took a dig at the regional leadership, saying many of them were not believers in the values of liberal democracy.

He said, “We have seen the rise of leadership from various states and regional formations, many of them have probably not been bred in the values of liberal democracy and many of them don’t know the distinction between state and private property.”

But he immediately checked himself saying, “But I do believe though there are tensions, these are essentially the pangs of growing up.”

Manmohan Singh said, “We have to recognize the process of change throws up new patterns of leadership, new patterns which lead to empowerment of hitherto marginalized sections.”

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