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India has no problem talking to Pakistan but won’t indulge ‘terroristan’, says Jaishankar

Press Trust of India

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New York: India has no problem talking to Pakistan, but it has a problem talking to ‘terroristan’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in New York on Wednesday, asserting that Islamabad has created an entire industry of terrorism to deal with the Kashmir issue.

Jaishankar, addressing a New York audience at cultural organization Asia Society, said when India decided to revoke Article 370 and bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, it drew a reaction from Pakistan.

 

Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and also sent back Indian High Commissioner after New Delhi revoked the ‘temporary special status’ given to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

Jaishankar emphasised that India has no problem talking to Pakistan. “But we have a problem talking to Terroristan. And they have to be one and not be the other,” he said.

Jaishankar underlined that revoking Article 370 has no implications for India’s external boundaries.

“We are sort of reformatting this within our existing boundaries. It obviously drew a reaction from Pakistan, it drew a reaction from China. These are two very different reactions. I think, for Pakistan, it was a country which has really created an entire industry of terrorism to deal with the Kashmir issue. In my view, it’s actually bigger than Kashmir, I think they have created it for India,” Jaishankar said.

He added that in the aftermath of India’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s ‘temporary special status’, Pakistan now sees its “investment” of 70 years undercut if this policy succeeds. “So theirs is today a reaction of anger, of frustration in many ways, because you have built an entire industry over a long period of time,” he said.

When asked that Pakistan has said a lot and what does he think it would do, Jaishankar said this is not a Kashmir issue but a bigger issue than that and Pakistan has to accept that the “model which they have built for themselves, no longer works. That you cannot, in this day and age, conduct policy using terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft. I think that’s at the heart of the issue.”

Jaishankar recalled that over the years in Jammu and Kashmir, the lack of development, lack of opportunity, “actually created a sense of alienation, alienation to separatism, separatism used for terrorism.”

When asked what does Pakistan need to do as a precondition for Kashmir talks, Jaishankar said, “I think we are getting this wrong. First of all Pakistan has to do something for its own good and if it does that, it would enable a normal neighbourly relationship with India.”

He added that it is not like India and Pakistan agree on everything else and the two countries have wonderful relationships and there is a Kashmir issue on the side. “We had an attack on Mumbai city. The last time I checked, Mumbai city was not a part of Kashmir. So if Pakistani terrorists can attack states and regions which are far removed from Kashmir, we have got to recognise that there is a bigger problem out there,” the minister said.

The problem is really the “mindset,” he said adding that every time there is a change of government in Pakistan, “somebody says its new and nothing to do with the earlier guys” and blames the previous government.

Second, they say, “it has nothing to do with us as a country, it’s all the Americans. The Americans taught us the bad habits by doing the Afghan jihad. We were good people till you came along,” he said, taking a strong jibe at Pakistan.

“There is a fundamental issue there which they need to understand and we need to encourage them to do – that is to move away from terrorism,” he said, adding that at one level it’s a huge issue and another level it’s a very obvious issue.

“These are not activities which are subterranean. These are activities in broad day light. They know where the camps are, anybody knows where the camps are, just google them. You’ll find them,” he said.

Jaishankar emphasised that the provision in the Indian Constitution which gave Kashmir a special status was only a temporary provision. “Now, here’s the funny thing. We rarely read that in the international press.”

“We agree on what the word temporary means, it means something comes to an end. After 70 years, it came to an end. And 70 years is a decent definition of the word temporary,” he said.


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Three militants killed in Pulwama gunfight

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Pulwama:Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. According to the Kashmir Zone Police, arms and ammunition have been recovered from the site.

Identities and affiliations of the militants are being ascertained and search in the area is underway. The encounter began in the outskirts of Pulwama today evening. The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Pulwama following inputs about the presence of militants

 
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Court directs registration of FIR against members of SIT that probed 2018 Kathua gangrape-murder case

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Oct 22: A court in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday directed the police to register an FIR against six members of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the 2018 rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in a Kathua village for allegedly torturing and coercing witnesses to give false statements.

Judicial Magistrate Prem Sagar gave the direction to senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Jammu on an application by Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma, who were witnesses in the case, saying cognizable offences are made out against the six.

 The court directed registration of FIR against the then SSP R K Jalla (now retired), ASP Peerzada Naveed, Deputy Superintendents of Police Shetmbari Sharma and Nissar Hussain, Sub-Inspector Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore of crime branch of police and asked the SSP Jammu to report compliance by next date of hearing on November 11.

 

“From the gist of the complaint cognizable offences are made out against the non-applicants herein. Therefore, application of the applicant under section 153 (3) CrPc is allowed with the direction to SSP Jammu to register FIR against the non-applicants under relevant provisions of law and report compliance by next date of hearing on November 11,” it said.

In June this year, District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh sentenced to life imprisonment the three main accused, while awarding five years in jail to three others for destruction of evidence in the case that had sparked nationwide outrage.

The trial was shifted to Pathankot on orders of the Supreme Court after some cabinet ministers of the then PDP-BJP government in the state came out in open support of the accused while lawyers in Kathua attempted to prevent submission of the charge sheet in court.

Advocate Ankur Sharma pleaded the case for the applicants.

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Forces capable of giving befitting reply to those who cast evil eye on us: Rajnath

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India has never been the aggressor but its armed forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on it.

The Navy has maintained vigilance to ensure that 26/11 is not repeated, Singh added while addressing the media at the Naval Commanders Conference. India, he said, has never been “offensive”.

“It’s character is such that it has not attacked any country nor conquered even an inch of land belonging to another nation. But the armed forces have the capability and strength to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on us,” the minister said.

 

He was responding to a query on Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed reported statement that his country would retaliate against India with a nuclear attack for targeting Pakistani military posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangadhar sector.

According to Indian Army officials, there was unprovoked firing by Pakistan in the sector on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday. On Sunday, the Indian Army retaliated by launching heavy artillery attacks, targeting at least four terror camps and several Pakistani military positions opposite the Tangadhar sector along the Line of Control, officials said. Discussing the Indian

Navy, the defence minister said he was confident that India’s seas are safe in the hands of the force.

“Our Indian Navy’s resolve is that 26/11 will not be repeated under any circumstances and it has ensured tight vigil,” he said, referring to the November 2008 terror siege of Mumbai. The Indian

Navy is marching towards indigenisation and its ships have a high percentage of indigenous equipment, Singh added. The minister also said all three services have placed emphasis on the need to reduce defence imports.

“All the three forces are also working to pick up niche technologies to meet the challenges,” he said. The three-day second edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference began here on Tuesday. The conference is the apex level biannual event for interaction between Naval commanders for the deliberation and formulation of important policy decisions.

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