India has reiterated its willingness to discuss “other outstanding issues” with Pakistan bilaterally in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.
Pakistan must renounce hostility, terror and violence to build normal neighbourly relations with India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his interlocutors from the European Union (EU) and Belgium.
“Underlined India’s openness to discuss other outstanding issues bilaterally with Pakistan in an atmosphere free of terror and violence,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The Indian minister was on the last leg of his four-nation tour which took him to Hungary, Russia, Poland, and Belgium. His visit was significant considering it came within three weeks of India abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, triggering a wave of protests by Pakistan.
Sources said the visit was primarily aimed at countering the Pakistani narrative on J&K and explain the circumstances which led to scrapping the special status accorded to it. The tour to Russia provided him an opportunity to do the groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vladivostok in Russia’s Far-East for the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) and the India-Russia annual summit from 4-6 September.
In Belgium, Jaishankar met President of EU Parliament David Sassoli, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini, among others.
He is believed to have told the EU officials that the bifurcation of J&K was aimed at better governance and more development of the region. He also discussed with them the situation in Afghanistan and India’s hope that the reconciliation process in the war-torn nation would be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. The two sides also shared their perspective on the Iran issue. They also discussed the India-EU strategic partnership on regional, global and multilateral issues.
”2/2 Minister @DrSJaishankar also informed me on the latest developments in #Kashmir. I reiterated the #EU’s position for de-escalating tensions and reaching a peaceful solution through the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan,” Commissioner Stylianides tweeted after his meeting with Jaishankar.