Terror an arm of Pak’s foreign policy, says Jaishankar

Speaking to former NSA General HR McMaster at an event here, India’s external affairs minister lauds LoC ceasefire but adds that Islamabad needs to stop terrorism as a state policy, reports Asian Lite News

Noting that the recent agreement between India and Pakistan on LoC ceasefire is a “good step”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday explained that there are “obviously bigger issues” between the neighbouring countries, adding that since 1947, part of the problem has been cross-border terrorism.

Speaking to former US National Security Adviser (NSA) General HR McMaster at an event here, Jaishankar said, “We had an agreement few weeks ago that we would not fire across LoC. That is a good step. But I think there are bigger issues. At the end of the day, the two neighbors have to find ways… Since 1947, part of the problem has been cross-border terrorism.”

“At this point of time, is that we had agreement some weeks ago between our director generals of military operation that you we would not find across at each other across the Line of Control, mainly because there’s been infiltration from that side,” Jaishankar said, adding, “So, the basis for not firing is very clear because the reason for firing is infiltration so if there is no infiltration there’s obviously no reason to fire. That’s a good step. But I think there are obviously bigger issues.”

He said, “And you also pointed out that from 1947 Part of the problem has been the use of cross border terrorists. The real global challenges are, indeed, you know, these examples pandemics, Climate Change terrorism,” he added.

Talking about the terrorism, Jaishankar said, “You’re very familiar with is the terrorist ecosystem that exists in Pakistan, in particular, and the danger that that poses India as India has been on the receiving end of many terrorist attacks since 1947 it’s been an arm. Terrorism has been an arm of the Pakistan states foreign policy essentially as since 1947, What do you see is the trajectory in connection with the strength and danger associated with each hottest terrorist organisations and what is India doing to protect itself from, the threat from groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and others that are determined to commit mass murder as an element as an element of a foreign policy and organizations are sponsored by the Pakistani state.”

Jaishankar arrived in the US on May 24, and is slated to visit many senior officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his stay till May 28.

Jaishankar to meet Defence Secretary

Jaishankar is scheduled to meet Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on Friday, the Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Wednesday.

India is engaged in talks with various US entities involved in Covid vaccines production and is looking forward to procuring and subsequently producing these vaccines. The issue of vaccine procurement is expected to be a key agenda item during Jaishankar’s interaction with US leadership and other stakeholders.

US is playing a lead role in assisting India’s fight against the COVID-19 virus. It has already provided large oxygen plants, concentrators, critical medicines like Remdesivir and also raw materials for vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), which is manufacturing Covishield.

‘World won’t be same after the pandemic’

Speaking on the pressing needs of countries due to Covid-19, Jaishankar said that there cannot be a world that is partly vaccinated or partly neglected because that world would not be safe.

Replying to a query by General McMaster on emerging doubts over the effectiveness of democratic processes and institutions, he said: “I don’t know if there are doubts in other parts of the world, but I want to tell you bluntly there are no doubts in India. We Indians are extremely confident of our democracy, we believe that’s really the political system and the value system that suits us.”

“It captures our fundamental diversity and the culture of really reasoning and coming to positions and an acceptance of what the rules of the day are. Over the last 75 years, we have held multiple elections, we have peaceful transitions of power. There are elections at different levels, one test is when you have changes of the party in power at different levels, that itself is proof that democracy is worth it,” he said.

He further said that no one in India would trade democracy with an alternative form of governance, despite its difficulties and complexities.

When asked about the rising assertiveness of its neighbour China, the EAM commented that if there was a sharp increase of power in one particular state, it would result in consequences, which was not unique in international relations.

Jaishankar further remarked that it was very obvious that Indo-Pacific is very central to the prospects of the world and welfare to the world.

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