LUCKNOW — Contending that terrorism should not be associated with any particular religion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described India's Muslims as "nationalists" who always "opposed terror" and did not allow radical groups to influence them. He also asked Pakistan, being a victim of terrorism itself, to extend full cooperation in combating the menace.
"Muslims in India are nationalists. They have always opposed such (terror) elements. They have opposed and demoralised them," the Home Minister said responding to questions here after an event.
"It (Pakistan) should extend full cooperation in checking terrorism because the country is facing a similar problem today," he told reporters.
On Pakistan's strong reaction to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's recent remarks about neutralising terrorists through terrorists, Singh said, "Not only India, but the entire world knows who is promoting terrorism."
Earlier, addressing a SBI officers' convention Singh expressed concern over Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racket and said it was used to promote terrorism and asked banks to be alert.
Singh, who also launched BJP's Mahasampark Abhiyan, rejected opposition's criticism of the Narendra Modi government that it had done nothing except for making tall promises, asserting global opinion was that India will become an economic super power by 2025.
"Analysis of one year of NDA rule is being done not only in India, but internationally. Today, I can claim that the work done by the popular government led by Modi has made people believe globally that India will become an economic super power by 2025," he said.
He said during 2014 Lok Sabha polls, analysts were not ready to admit that BJP would get even a clear mandate.
"Though they admitted that BJP will emerge as the single largest party, nobody was ready to believe that the party would get a clear mandate. For the first time in the country's history, a non-Congress party got clear mandate," he said.
Singh said during the Congress regime no one could imagine that the growth rate would reach 7.5.
"It is due to the policy decisions taken by the present government and its intention, I am sure that in the next four years it will reach 10 per cent. India will be the fastest growing economy in the world," he said.
To a question regarding Naxalism, Singh said, "If one focusses on last 10 to 15 years, then there has been a decline of 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the last one year."
With regard to questions being raised by opposition over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign visits, Singh said all his predecessors travelled abroad but the "warm welcome" accorded to him showed that the country's goodwill and prestige was on the rise. "The world has started taking India seriously," Singh said on the sidelines of a programme.
"In this era of globalisation and liberalisation can you separate economy from international economy? You look at the figures. Then PM Manmohan Singh undertook a similar number of foreign visits," he said.
"At least he (Modi) went with a mission and work on his mind. He did not go on a sabbatical leaving people high and dry," he said, in a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Singh said foreign trips were important to maintain credibility and goodwill so that trade runs smoothly.
"Congressmen must tell whether the President or PM of a country ever bypassed protocol to receieve an Indian PM. This importance must be understood," he said.
Singh also rubbished Rahul Gandhi's accusation against the Centre for scrapping the food park project in his constituency Amethi.
Attacking UPA government, the Union Minister alleged that its 10-year rule was tainted with scams.
"During 10 years of UPA regime, no single year passed when corruption charges did not crop up. During one year of NDA government, I can say this with authority, no person can even raise a finger at us," he said. .
Singh said if Congress could not praise the NDA government, it should at least make creative contribution.
"We opened accounts of over 15 crore families and still Congress is alleging that nothing has been done. People are being misled that ours is a government of capitalists. They must tell, who has been benefited. They should not make hollow statements and instead come out with evidence," he said.
The Home Minister asserted the government's initiatives on the economic front will result in GDP growth touching the 10 per cent mark.
"India will have the fastest growing economy. I am confident that GDP will reach minimum 10 per cent due to our policy decisions," he said.
He recalled how GDP growth had reached 10.4 per cent during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure due to execution of massive infrastructure projects.
The minister said government's attempts to check black money generation will also boost the economy.
Singh said through Modi's 'Make in India' initiative, the government wanted not only to promote domestic investors but also potential investors from abroad. "We want Made in India to be a big brand," he said, adding the government wanted a manufacturing revolution to be ushered in.
Singh said for the first time it has been decided that half of the money paid to foreign companies towards purchase of weapons would be invested back in India.
He also rejected the allegations of state governments about centre's non-cooperation in helping farmers hit by unseasonal rain and hailstorm.
"We have taken a number of steps to provide relief to the farmers and strengthen the states, even then allegations are being levelled. Is it necessary to tell lies," he said.
Singh said BJP was not into politics to form governments, but to build the nation.
He claimed that by registering 10 crore new members, BJP has become the largest party in the world.
"We have got an opportunity and we should not allow it to go waste," he said.