Congress backs Jaishankar's concern, calls for exposing Pakistan sponsored terrorism
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday backed Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s remark on talks with Pakistan and asserted that friendly relations with the Asian neighbour will not go forward unless New Delhi does not speak about Islamabad sponsored terrorism.
Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit, however, said that the Foreign Secretary has said nothing new.
“That is true and there is nothing extra ordinary in what the Foreign Secretary has said, he has only parroted what people have been saying from a long time. Of course one of the major issues between India and Pakistan is Islamabad’s sponsored terrorism and until and unless we speak about Pakistan sponsored terrorism, friendly relations with Pakistan will not go forward,” said Dikshit.
Speaking at Delhi’s Foreign Correspondents Club, Jaishankar yesterday said that India's efforts to have "closer and broader" cooperation in South Asia often faced roadblocks due to Pakistan’s usage of terrorism as an instrument of policy of diplomacy.
Asserting that India has in the last two years made serious effort to reach out to Pakistan, Jaishankar said the issue of terrorism makes the relationship difficult to grow.
“While we all agree that we should move forward, it doesn’t always go very smoothly. Problem is that the terrorism issue has become so central to the relationship that it makes the relationship difficult to grow. Looking at the neighbourhood, we clearly face a unique challenge in respect to one country which is Pakistan,” said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar's statements assume significance as he had earlier expressed willingness to hold discussions over cross-border terrorism with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Holding India’s diplomacy as "more practical and result-oriented", Jaishankar said, "India, in the last two years, has taken strident steps to reach out to Pakistan to ensure cordial relationship, while acknowledging that it has not achieved desired result."
"While we all agree that we should move forward, it doesn't always go very smoothly," he said.
On August 15, Chaudhry called in Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale and handed over a letter addressed to his Indian counterpart, inviting him to visit Pakistan for talks on Jammu and Kashmir, which he termed "the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan.