KOCHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said resumption of talks with Pakistan was to "try and turn the course of history" and to bring an end to terrorism but made it clear that the neighbouring country would be judged by its commitment on terrorism.
Modi also asserted that India will never drop its guard on security as he admitted that there are many challenges and barriers on the path.
Speaking to India's top military commanders on board the country's largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Modi said "we are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region.
"There are many challenges and barriers on the path. But the effort is worth it because the peace dividends are huge and the future of our children is at stake. So, we will test their intentions to define the path ahead. For this, we have started a new NSA-level dialogue to bring security experts face to face with each other.
"But we will never drop our guard on security and we will continue to judge progress on their commitments on terrorism," he said.
This is the first time that Modi has spoken on the relations with Pakistan after the two countries announced the re-engagement under bilateral comprehensive dialogue last week.
The announcement came after Modi had met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change summit in Paris on November 30 where the two also agreed to hold NSA-level talks.
Addressing the first ever Combined Commanders Conference to be held outside the national capital, the Prime Minister warned against "reckless" nuclear build up and continuing military modernisation and expansion.
Modi said "our neighbourhood is most critical for our future and for our place in the world.
"But ours is a difficult neighbourhood with the full spectrum of security challenges. We see terrorism and ceasefire violations, reckless nuclear build-up and threats, border transgressions and continuing military modernisation and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer," he said.