London: A leading British daily on Tuesday suggested that Britain and other countries, who have decided to engage with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, should "make it clear that rehabilitation is not licence for the type of supremacist inspired nationalism that fuelled the 2002 massacres".

In a strongly-worded editorial, The Financial Times said "The timing (of Britain's decision to engage with Modi) is, however, highly questionable. It comes as Gujarat prepares for elections in December which Mr Modi is expected to win.

"His majority could be enhanced by his new-found international acceptance. Recognition may also boost his chances for India's national elections in 2014, where he is being cited as a possible Prime Minister.”

"Mr Modi is now a far more serious contender than he would have been had he still been shunned internationally".

In the editorial headlined 'Gujarat's Shame, Rehabilitation does not absolve Modi's government', the newspaper said "Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, is one of India's most dynamic and business-friendly states. But for 10 years he has also been an international outcast as the Hindu nationalist leader of a regional government accused of complicity in riots which killed an estimated 2,000 Muslims".

The paper noted that Modi has never expressed any remorse or apologised for the killings.

No change in stand on Modi: Germany

Germany is not going to follow Britain in re-engaging with the Gujarat government led by chief minister Narendra Modi when the state is going to the polls, the country's ambassador to India said.

"Our stand remains unchanged. There is a domestic elections that will start there (Gujarat) and we do not want to make any statements on it," ambassador Michael Steiner said here.

"UK had informed us before making their announcement. However, our stand is not affected by the UK's decision," he added.

The German envoy was commenting on Britain's recent decision to re-engage with the Gujarat government. Britain was among many other countries that had boycotted the Gujarat government after the 2001 communal riots in the state.

On the trade and investment with India, the envoy said the negativity surrounding the investment environment in India has faded a bit due to the recent decision in allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and other areas.

"The recent decision on FDI has helped improve the image and atmosphere of investments in India."

On the European financial crisis, the envoy said efforts are being made by EU countries to resolve the crisis, including the use of two instruments -- the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Fiscal Compact.

The ESM provides for buying up to 780 billion Euros (around $1 trillion) sovereign bonds of euro zone countries which are under financial stress. The Fiscal Compact envisages a singular economic governance policy for the euro zone, including monetary policy and further integration.

Steiner said that despite the current crisis, Indo-German trade will reach the Euro 20 billion-mark by this year-end.


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