Monday, February 26, 2024

India has thwarted Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism plan by not ‘playing that game’: S Jaishankar

India has thwarted Pakistan’s plan of using terrorism across borders. In a talk with ANI, Minister S Jaishankar said India won’t talk to Pakistan if it means accepting terrorism as okay. He spoke about this while discussing his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’.

Jaishankar, during the conversation, pointed out that India’s stance is not of unwillingness to engage with Pakistan. Rather, it insists on an atmosphere devoid of terror and hostility as a prerequisite for any dialogue. This approach marks a significant departure from the past when Pakistan attempted to use terrorism as leverage in its dealings with India.

“What Pakistan was trying to do, not now but over multiple decades, was really to use cross-border terrorism to bring India to the table. That, in essence, was its core policy. We have made that irrelevant by not playing that game now,” EAM Jaishankar said.

India’s policy, as articulated by Jaishankar, is clear. Neighbouring countries are unavoidable realities. Yet, interactions must not be dictated by tactics that India finds unacceptable.

In 2022, India declared its intention for normal relations with Pakistan, contingent on a terror-free environment. This was in response to the then Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s overture for dialogue. India’s Ministry of External Affairs had reiterated its desire for peaceful coexistence with all neighbours, including Pakistan, underpinning the necessity of a terror-free ambience.

“We desire normal neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. For this an environment free of terror and hostility is imperative,” a MEA spokesperson earlier said.

‘Pakistan will decide its future’

Jaishankar previously stated in an interview with ANI that Pakistan’s future would hinge on its own actions and choices, especially in the context of its economic predicaments.

“Pakistan’s future is largely determined by Pakistan’s actions and by Pakistan’s choices. Nobody reaches a difficult situation suddenly and without cause. It is for them to find a way out. Our relationship today is not one where we can be relevant directly to that process,” Jaishankar said.

(With ANI inputs)

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Published: 02 Jan 2024, 02:37 PM IST

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