External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar on Friday made a staunching attack on Pakistan said that terrorism from their soil is making it very hard to conduct normal relations with it, adding that it remains ‘publically acknowledged’ by their government as a policy they are ‘justifying’.
Speaking at an online event hosted by the Asia Society, Jaishankar said Pakistan has blocked the connectivity between India and Afghanistan, noting that have a normal relationship with Islamabad is a “very troubling issue” for New Delhi’s foreign policy.
“They give you connectivity and most important they don’t practice terrorism. And I think until we address that problem, this challenge of how do you have a normal relationship with this very unique neighbour is a very troubling issue for our foreign policy,” Jaishankar said, as reported by news agency PTI.
He further said that India’s external boundaries have not changed and they “remain what they are today as opposed to what they were five years ago or 20 years ago, 40 years ago”.
“So as far as our neighbours are concerned, our point to them is that this is something which is internal to us. Every country after all reserves the right to change its administrative jurisdictions. A country like China has also changed the borders of its provinces and I’m sure a lot of other countries do that,” PTI quoted Jaishankar as saying.
‘Border clashes between India, China left relationship profoundly disturbed’
During the event, Jaishankar also spoke about the recent border standoff between India and China and said that the conflict has left the relationship “profoundly disturbed”, noting that New Delhi and Beijing have built a relationship over last 30 years.
“So, from the conceptual level down to the behavioural level, there was an entire sort of framework out there. Now, what we saw this year was a departure from this entire series of agreements. The massing of large amount of Chinese forces on the border was clearly contrary to all of this,” Jaishankar said.
“To underline the enormity of that, it was the first military casualty we had after 1975. So what it has done is, it has obviously had a very deep public impact, very major political impact and it has left the relationship profoundly disturbed,” he added.
Over the last few months, India’s relationship with Pakistan and China have tensed up. While Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists on its soil, China has repeatedly violated the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The two countries have also criticised New Delhi’s move to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. However, India has repeatedly said that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue and Pakistan and China have no locus standi over it.