Pakistan, terrorism, and J&K restrictions: Highlights of Foreign Minister's interview
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar sat down for an interview with Politico, and the conversation revolved around Pakistan, the terrorism it sponsors and the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. Jaishankar, who took oath as Head of the Foreign Ministry along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, justified the communication blackout saying it was necessary to curtail militants' action.
Trolling Imran, Jaishankar said he didn't read his NYT piece
In a statement which might hurt Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, Jaishankar said he didn't find time to read the former's op-ed on Kashmir, published in the New York Times last week. In the article, Khan ranted about India's Kashmir move, which involved withdrawing the special status of J&K and bifurcating the border state into two union territories, namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
So, what did Khan write about Kashmir?
Commenting on India's internal matter for reasons best known to him, Khan continued with his rhetoric in the article. He slammed PM Modi while painting a picture that he has been the one who "initiated" peace ever since he took office last year. Khan even said that if the world ignores Kashmir, both nuclear-armed countries will come extremely close to military confrontation.
Terrorism happens in Pakistan in broad daylight: Jaishankar
Anticipating nuclear showdown, Khan concluded it's necessary to begin discussions, but Jaishankar said in the current atmosphere that isn't possible. Reiterating New Delhi's official stand, the minister said Pakistan has to rein in terrorism and stop providing them a safe haven for talks. "Terrorism is not something that is being conducted in dark corners of Pakistan. It's done in broad daylight," Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar is hoping the restrictions would be eased soon
Jaishankar also spoke about restrictions imposed in J&K. The state has been under unprecedented security cover since August 5. The Centre, led by BJP, deployed heavy troops and snapped communication modes. On this, Jaishankar said the restrictions would be eased slowly while adding that he wants to send police forces back to their original duties. He added Kashmir's new status will open opportunities.
Further, Jaishankar asked how he can revoke communication blackout selectively
Defending blackout, which has made it impossible for people to contact their loved ones, Jaishankar said, "How do I cut off communications between terrorists and their masters on the one hand, but keep the internet open for other people? I would be delighted to know."
It's not about Hindu v/s Muslims in J&K, underlined Jaishankar
Dismissing the idea that Centre changed J&K's status to alienate the Muslim population and allow non-Muslims to buy property there, Jaishankar said, "The kind of people who say this are people who don't know India. Does this sound like the culture of India?" He also said other autonomous areas of India will remain as it is, and that J&K has always been "unique".