The entire neighbourhood minus one, has been a fairly good story for regional cooperation, said S Jaishankar, Union Minister for External Affairs, while interacting at the World Economic Forum in the national capital on Friday.
“I would say the entire neighbourhood, minus one, has been a fairly good story for regional cooperation,” Jaishankar said in a veiled reference to Pakistan.
He also spoke on a wide range of issues including the Kashmir.
While talking about nationalism in India, he said that India is an exception as the country is more nationalistic, but it doesn’t see a tension between being nationalist and being international.
Responding to a question at a session of the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, Jaishankar also said that the Kashmir issue did come up in meetings with the US.
Jaishankar was on a three-day visit to the United States. He referred to Pakistan multiple times on his visit.
On Wednesday, while addressing the audience in Washington, Jaishankar described the decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as a “long-awaited” step and the “right thing” to do and that it was expected that Pakistan instrumental in fueling terrorism and separatism in Kashmir would challenge the decision.
Earlier, in a direct reference to Pakistan in his statement, he said that it was expected from Pakistan to pull out all stops to challenge the decision of diluting Article 370.
“What do you expect the Pakistanis to say (after current restrictions are lifted and normalcy is restored)… we expect calm and happiness to return? No, they (Pakistan) will not. They will paint apocalyptic scenarios because one, that is their wish and two, that’s actually what their game plan has been for 70 years,” he said.
In a strong statement on Tuesday, Jaishankar had said that once India triggers development in Jammu and Kashmir, all of Pakistan’s plans for the last 70 years against the state would come to an end.
Centre had scrapped Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been bifurcated in two union territories, namely Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has been desperate since then and has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue by raising the matter at various forums including the UN.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.