PM 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, he 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."
PM Modi said," 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."
This is the first time that PM 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 PM 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 National Security Advisor (NSA)-level talks.
"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 modernization and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer," he said.
PM Modi said that India is also pursuing closer relations with China to harness the full potential of the country's economic partnership.
"We will continue to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure, engage our neighbours more closely and strengthen our regional and global partnerships, including in maritime security," he said.
PM Modi said that old rivalries can play out in new theatres such as space and cyber.
"And new technologies offer us new ways to be more effective against both traditional and new challenges," he said adding that "we in India must be ready for the present and prepare for the future."
The Prime Minister stressed that "one should learn from the experience of the others, but must frame our systems and commands on our own genius."
"Our National Defence University will be a reality soon," he said adding that "we also need reforms in senior defence management."
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