Jaishankar on cross-border terror: Terrorists shouldn’t safe across the border

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said there has been a change in the foreign policy of the country since 2014 and the way terrorism is dealt with.

Asked about the countries that India finds difficult to maintain relationships with, he said one, Pakistan, was in the neighbourhood and “for that we are only responsible”. 

If something like Mumbai (26/11) happens now and if one does not react then how does one prevent the next attack, the foreign minister asked. “Terrorists should not feel since they are across the border, no one can touch them. Terrorists do not play by any rules so the answer to the terrorist cannot have any rules,” he said.

In 1947, Pakistan sent tribal invaders into Kashmir and the Army countered them and the integration of the state took place, he pointed out. “While the Indian Army was taking its action, we stopped and went to the UN and mentioned the work of tribal invaders instead of terrorism. If we, from the very start, were clear that Pakistan is using terrorism, then would have had a very different policy,” the EAM said. Terrorism cannot be acceptable under any circumstances, he asserted. 

Asked about continuity in the country’s foreign policy, Jaishankar said, “My answer is yes. There is 50 percent continuity and there is 50 percent change. That one change is on terrorism. After the Mumbai attack, there was not a single person who felt we should not have responded. But it was thought at the time that the cost of attacking Pakistan is more than not attacking Pakistan.” 

The Union minister was interacting with youth at the ‘Why Bharat Matters: Opportunity for youth and participation in global scenario’ event in Pune on April 12. 

(With PTI inputs)

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