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Debate: Time for an open debate? - 2

In a strong message to Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday (August 15) said anti-India activities emanating from there will have to stop for relations to improve and asserted that all steps will be taken to prevent "dastardly" acts like the recent killing of jawans on the LoC. Addressing the nation on the 67th Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, the Prime Minister said terrorist and naxal violence in the country have reduced but the area of national security calls for constant vigil. India, he said, has strived for friendship with its neighbouring countries. "However, for relations with Pakistan to improve it is essential they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity," he said.

Referring to the August 6 killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistan Army in a cross-LoC attack in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, he termed it as a "dastardly" act and said "we will take all possible steps to prevent such incidents in the future." In his 30-minute speech, Singh also appeared to target the BJP and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying there was no place for "narrow and sectarian ideologies" in modern, progressive and secular India. He warned such ideologies will "divide" society and "weaken our democracy". "We should prevent them from growing," he said. Singh, in his 10th consecutive Independence Day address and his last before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, stressed that there was a need to strengthen secular traditions to promote tolerance.

In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Siddharth Nath Singh, Leader, BJP; D Raja, MP, Rajya Sabha, CPI; Maroof Raza, TIMES NOW Strategic Affairs Expert and Dr Mehboob Beig, Senior Leader & MP, Lok Sabha, NC -- discuss whether, PM's reference to Pakistan almost cursory today? Should he have been more assertive vis-a-vis Pakistan?