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Millennium Post

Great expectations

Great expectations

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar made a very ambitious remark that one day, we may expect physical jurisdiction over the disputed PoK region. Also expressing hopes that New Delhi fosters to build a better, stronger neighbourhood, the Union minister reiterated that India's position on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has always been crystal clear that PoK is Indian territory. Given that cross-border terrorism is a challenge to India and a persisting problem for Jammu and Kashmir, these ambitious plans would seem more substantial if a semblance of a method to realise this ambition was also in view. To quote the Minister, "We hope to build a better, stronger neighbourhood but recognising that we have a unique challenge from one neighbour, until the issue of cross-border terrorism is successfully addressed and that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour, that would remain a challenge." This may be read as India's security ambition for Jammu and Kashmir being virtually secondary to the policies of Pakistan—which aims to bleed India by a thousand cuts. Taking the lead in addressing the Kashmir crisis resulted in scrapping the special status of Article 370 but just with that move, weeks later, peace and normalcy are still as elusive because yet again, the people of the region have not been taken in confidence. With respect to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the Jammu and Kashmir region has suffered massively and it is by rectifying the situation there first that anything could be thought beyond. Moving over to PoK cannot be possible without healing Kashmir first.

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