NEW DELHI: In an obvious reference to Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said India’s entire neighbourhood “minus one” has been a “fairly good story” for regional cooperation.The abrogation of Article 370 provisions did come up for discussion in his meetings during the recent US visit, Jaishankar added at a session of the India Economic Summit here.
“That is natural for many people when there is a change of status...,” he said during a conversation with World Economic Forum president Borge Brende. Jaishankar said he “spoke fairly extensively” in the US on the Kashmir issue -- on the background, history, “why we did, what we did” — and asserted that a lot of it was new to the people he discussed the matter with.
“Hardly anybody had the realisation that this (Article 370) was a temporary article in the Constitution or the mis-alignment due to the fact that a lot of the national laws did not apply in J&K state. These were all new things to them,” Jaishankar said.
Discussing India’s push for strengthening of ties with its neighbours, the minister said, “I would say the entire neighbourhood, minus one, has actually been a fairly good story of regional cooperation.”
Asked if the impasse with ‘minus one’ would continue, he said he hopes that someday even the ‘minus one’ comes around to regional cooperation.
‘Deeply regret statements of Turkey and Malaysia’
India on Friday said it “deeply regrets” the statements of Turkey and Malaysia attacking New Delhi on the Kashmir issue. Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad had raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations