‘India not in mood to overlook terrorists’: S Jaishankar’s swipe at Pakistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar slammed China and Pakistan on Saturday while speaking at an event in Singapore. While he called out China for their claims over Arunachal Pradesh being their territory, the minister asserted that India cannot “overlook” terrorism in an attempt to mend ties with Pakistan.

“China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh are ludicrous to begin with and remain ludicrous today as it is a natural part of India,” Jaishankar said.

The Union Minister made the statement during a Q&A round held after his lecture session on his authored book ‘Why Bharat Matters’ at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is currently in Singapore on a three-day visit

His comments came days afterChina raked up the Arunachal Pradesh issue once againafter the Chinese military called the Indian state an “inherent part of China’s territory”. In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry laterdismissed the claims as “absurd” while calling Arunachal Pradesh an “inalienable” part of India.

On Pakistan, Jaishankar stated that the country is now sponsoring terrorism at almost an “industry level”, and India’s mood currently is not to overlook terrorists.

“It’s not a one-off happening…but very sustained, almost at an industry level…So what we have come to conclude is that we have to find a way of addressing (the menace), that dodging the problem gets us nowhere, it only invites more trouble,” he said.

Jaishankar further wondered how one can deal with a neighbour who does not hide the fact that they use terrorism as an “instrument of statecraft”.

“Every country wants a stable neighbourhood…if nothing else, you want at least a quiet neighbourhood,” the External Affairs Minister said in response to a question on India’s relationship with Pakistan.

Jaishankar said that however difficult a problem is, the “other country” – referring to Pakistan – “should not be given a free pass”.

Earlier this month, during a panel discussion at an event, Jaishankar said that India never “closed doors” to talking to Pakistan regarding the ties between the two neighbours. However, he emphasised that the terrorism issue should be “fair, square at the centre of the conversation”.

“It is the major issue…I am not saying there are no other issues. But I am not going to duck that issue for the sake of talking,” the External Affairs minister said.

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