‘If you leave open vulnerability in competing world, others will exploit it…’: Jaishankar on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar

Taking a sharp dig at Pakistan over its illegal occupation of Kashmir, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that if a vulnerability like it is left open in a competing world, there are chances of it being exploited by others.

Jaishankar said that the contiguity that developed the two nations (India and Pakistan) who oppose each other is today costing India well.

“The first thing to appreciate and to consistently get into the minds of the entire nation is the fact that we have actually rectified a fundamental mistake which was made in 1947 and a mistake for which Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee fought so hard in his own lifetime to rectify,” Jaishankar said.

Notably, Syama Prasad Mukherjee was an Indian politician who served as India’s first Minister for Industry and Supply in Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet.

Meanwhile speaking further during the event in Kolkata, Jaishankar added, “The point I was making is if you leave open such a vulnerability in a competing world, others are going to exploit it. By leaving there a Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, we allowed a contiguity to develop between really two adversarial nations and that is today costing us as well.”

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that India cannot have SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) meeting until one member continues to engage in acts of terrorism, adding that India will not tolerate a situation where “terrorism happens by night and trade happens by day.”

Earlier also Jaishankar has taken a sharp dig at Pakistan several times describing it as the epicentre of terrorism.

India, meanwhile, had maintained that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan.

India’s consistent position is that the differences between the two countries should be resolved bilaterally and peacefully, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.

The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive environment. Pakistan continues to sponsor cross-border terrorism against India; restrict normal trade, connectivity and people-to-people exchanges; and engage in hostile and fabricated propaganda to vilify India.

“India, as a result of proactive outreach with the international community, successfully thwarted Pakistan’s misleading attempts to present an alarmist picture of the situation of the region and interfere in the internal affairs of India,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in its annual report. 

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