Pak to remain challenge till it addresses terrorism : Jaishankar

New Delhi: India on Tuesday made it clear that Pakistan will remain a “unique challenge” until it “successfully” addresses the problem of cross-border terrorism and “becomes a normal neighbour”.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, while addressing a press conference on 100 days of Modi government’s second term, said immediate neighbourhood remains a priority for India, with focus on generous and non-reciprocal policy aimed at increasing business and people-to-people contacts.
Giving a gist of the work done by the External Affairs Ministry since May 30, he said there is a linkage to what the government does domestically and internationally.
He said a major difference is that the co-relation between the national security goals and foreign policy goals has become stronger.
In these 100 days, there has been a message of change against the backdrop of strong vote of confidence for the Modi government from the electorate, Jaishankar said.
He said certain issues like changes in Article 370 and cross-border terrorism also have resonance in the foreign policy.
Talking about the neighbourhood, he said it remains the first priority of India and entails connectivity, commerce and contacts.
He noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his second term with a visit to Maldives, followed by Sri Lanka and then Bhutan. India’s policy is going to be generous and non-reciprocal, with emphasis on business and people-to-people contact, Jaishankar said.
Talking about Pakistan in a veiled manner, he said this neighbour will remain a “unique challenge” until cross-border terrorism is “successfully addressed” and “until that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour”.
Indo-US relations
Indo-US relations have come a long way and there is no facet of the relationship that has not gone upwards, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
Addressing the 100-day press conference of the Ministry of External Affairs, he said the “trajectory” of the relationship between India and the US has been “upwards” amid various administrations in Washington, be it Bush, Obama and now Trump.
Responding to a question on commerce, he said the trade problem between the two countries is “normal”. Jaishankar said in partnership with the Indian diaspora, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed events in San Jose in 2015 and Madison Square in New York in 2014, and the September 22 event at Houston will be the third.
Kashmir issue
Jaishankar on Tuesday said there was no need to “worry” too much beyond a point about what people will say on Kashmir, asserting that India’s position on its internal issues has prevailed and will prevail.
The minister also asserted that there is a complete predictability of India’s position since 1972.
“Beyond a point, don’t worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir. There is a complete predictability about my position. My position has been clear since 1972 and my position is not going to change. At the end of the day, it is my issue. On my issue, my position has prevailed and will prevail,” the external affairs minister said.
He was replying to questions on Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue and concerns expressed by some foreign leaders on human rights condition in Kashmir. (Agencies)

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