Pakistan should show a “real willingness to cooperate” in tackling the “terrorist industry” operating from its soil in order to improve relations with India, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Jaishankar also said it is in the interest of both India and China to have good relations and build a more inclusive world.
Asked about the Pakistan foreign minister’s remarks that bilateral relations were “close to zero”, Jaishankar replied that “Pakistan has developed an important terrorist industry and sends terrorists to India to carry out attacks. Pakistan itself does not deny this situation. Now, tell me: which country would be willing to talk and negotiate with a neighbour who openly practices terrorism against it?”
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Noting that relations have been “difficult since many years”, he added, “We need actions that demonstrate a real willingness to cooperate. For example, there are Indians wanted for terrorist activities living in Pakistan. We are telling Pakistan: hand them over to us.”
Referring to India’s relations with China, Jaishankar said there is a “very strong commonality” between the two countries because the rebalancing of the world involves rebalancing between the two Asian giants. “The fact that we are both on the rise, even though we have different institutions and regimes, means that we have a common interest in defending our interests,” he said.
“India and China have an interest in expanding the global processes of deliberation…China and India have a common interest in making the world more inclusive for the different nations of the world,” he added.
Noting that the current world order involves a balance between cooperation and competition, he said it is in the common interest of India and China “to have good relationships”.
Jaishankar described the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after its special status was revoked in August ad precautions to prevent violent reactions from radical and separatist elements.
“These restrictions have been gradually reduced, and as the situation normalises, telephone and mobile lines have been restored, shops are open and the apple harvest is under way. The situation is back to normal,” he said,
adding foreign journalists will be allowed to go there as soon as it is safe.
“We don’t want their presence to provoke problems – from people who would take advantage of it to show that there is unrest,” he said.
Jaishankar also said India has been less affected by the policies of US President Donald Trump because it has “never been in an alliance arrangement”.
“We are used to dealing with international relations on our own. Our mindset allows us to better deal with unpredictability. These changes are not only in the United States, there are also many changes in Asia, the emergence of China, India, ASEAN. We are in a completely different world,” he said.