New York: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said today that the Government of Pakistan has been publicly considering terrorism as a policy that it justifies. He said that this is the reason why it is very difficult for India to normalize relations with Pakistan.
Addressing an online event organized by the Asia Society, Jaishankar said, “Terrorism on behalf of Pakistan remains a publicly accepted policy by his government which he is justifying. Therefore, it has become very difficult to normalize the relationship with them.
Jaishankar said that it is not only terrorism but Pakistan does not do normal business with India and has not given New Delhi the status of Most Favored Nation (MFN).
He said, “We do not have a normal visa relationship and they are very restrictive in this matter.” They have disrupted connectivity between India and Afghanistan and from Afghanistan to India.
Jaishankar said that normal neighbors have visas and business relations, they provide you with connectivity and most importantly, they do not promote terrorism.
He said, “And I believe that unless we pay attention to this problem, then how to have normal relations with this very bizarre neighbor is a very problematic subject for our foreign policy.”
On the question of the developments in Kashmir since Partition last year, Jaishankar said that the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state has now been divided into two union territories.
He said, “India’s external borders have not changed. As far as our neighbors are concerned, for them we say that this is an internal matter for us. Every country has the right to change its administrative jurisdiction. Countries like China have also changed the boundaries of their provinces and I believe many other countries do this.
He said, “Neighbors are affected only when your outer boundaries change. This is not the case in this case.
Relations between India and Pakistan were strained after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Force Center in 2016 by Pakistan’s terrorist groups. After this, other attacks, including the attack on the Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated relations.
In response to the Pulwama terror attack, Indian warships destroyed a terrorist camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed within Pakistan on 26 February last year.
Last year, there was a strong response from Pakistan on ending the special status provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing the state into two union territories and it has been trying unsuccessfully to garner international support against India on Kashmir issue.