'PoK is part of India, expect jurisdiction over it one day'
New Delhi: India on Tuesday said there is no need to "worry" too much beyond a point about what people will say on Kashmir as it was its internal issue on which its position has "prevailed and will prevail", remarks that come in the backdrop of raging debate over New Delhi's decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing his first press conference after assuming the office in the Modi 2.0 government in May, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also hit out at Pakistan, saying India has a "unique challenge" from one neighbour and it would remain a challenge until that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour and acts against cross-border terrorism.
He also made it clear that with Pakistan, the issue is not Article 370, the issue is cross-border terrorism, and the first thing that has to come to the table for any talks with Pakistan has to be the terrorism issue.
Amidst concerns expressed by some countries and the UN human rights organisation over the situation in Kashmir, Jaishankar said international audience understands what India's reasons for abrogating Article 370 were.
"It was a temporary provision which is not often used in the analysis of events...The provision had become dysfunctional. It was being arbitraged by some narrow set of people for their own gains. By doing so, they were impeding development and feeding a sense of separatism. The separatism was being utilised by Pakistan to carry out cross-border terrorism," he said.
Asked about remarks by some Union leaders that henceforth talks with Pakistan would be only about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and not on Kashmir, Jaishankar said, "Our position has, is and will always be very clear on PoK, that it is part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it."
Talking about the performance of the ministry in first 100 days, he said, one of the key achievements of the government in this period has been a strong connection between national security and foreign policy goals.
Asked about the significance of US President Donald Trump attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's event in Houston and what message it will convey to Pakistan, Jaishankar said, "...it is not just Pakistan whole world will be watching the Houston event and take lessons about what Indian-Americans have achieved...I think there are multiple messages there. It is for Pakistanis to read what they read into it and I would say the same applies to other people in the world as well."
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