New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar made it clear that cross-border terrorism can never push India to the negotiating table.
“If a neighbour says I am going to cross border terrorism, that will bring you to the table, then I have a problem,” he said at the CNN News18 Town Hall programme.
“….This is the policy of this government on terrorism. We will not be brought to talk using the instrument of terrorism,” he said.
He also said, “A lot of India’s problems with Pakistan are directly attributable to the support that the United States gave to Pakistan.”
On Indo-Pakistan relations, Dr Jaishankar further said, “I am a very, very optimistic person……Look, one day, I am convinced people of this region will say enough of this (cross border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan). I know that in my heart of hearts, I am waiting for that day. I am working for that day.”
However, he hastened to add, “I know that this is not easy. There are very big vested interests which have developed and which have taken them on the course they have gone.”
“It is important for us to have the fortitude and the confidence …that we need to keep reasoning with them, keep engaging with them, but not brought to the table in the manner in which it is not in our interests,” he added.
He said India’s history with Russia is different from that of America, Japan or Australia, adding that everybody in the Quad does not have an identical position on everything.
“Had it been the case, we would have expected everybody to have the same stand on Pakistan as ours,” Dr Jaishankar said.
“We are today in a pragmatic, get-on-with-it world where you look for people with whom at a very basic level your interests match, and we have a common agenda. For example, the Quad is Indo-Pacific centered. It does not extrapolate into something else,” he said.
Dr Jaishankar’s remarks are significant as these come amid Pakistan-based terror groups continuing to instigate vitiate peace in Jammu and Kashmir.
Moreover, the potshot at the US also comes close on the heels of the Joe Biden administration, stating that Washington will look at ways to advance its ties with Islamabad.