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.
Light snowfall in many parts of Kashmir, min temp rises
Many parts of Kashmir received fresh light snowfall on Saturday, leading to an increase in the minimum temperature which brought some relief to the people from the intense cold conditions, the meteorological department said.
A MeT official said the weather would remain generally cloudy in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh Union territories on Saturday with chances of light rain or snow.
“Light snowfall of two to five inches occurred at many places of Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and on the higher reaches of Ladakh,” he said.
The official said the weather would remain generally cloudy in both the Union territories on Saturday.
“A spell of widespread light to moderate snowfall is likely to occur during January 6 to 7 evening,” he said.
The official said the fresh snowfall brought some relief to the residents in the Valley from the intense cold conditions as the night temperature showed improvement.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.1 degree Celsius Friday night over three degrees up from minus 3.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius two degrees up from the previous night.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius over seven degrees up from minus 10.0 degrees Celsius Thursday night, he said.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius up over six degrees from the previous night’s minus 7.0 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag town, also in south, recorded a low of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered the minimum temperature at 0.8 degree Celsius, the official said.
The mercury in Leh in Ladakh settled at a low of minus 18.3 degrees Celsius, he said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and minimum temperatures drop considerably.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and it will end on January 31. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Militants hurl grenade at CRPF personnel in Srinagar
Suspected militants hurled a grenade at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Kawdara locality in Srinagar on Saturday, resulting in damage to several vehicles, police said.
However, there was no immediate report of any casualty or injury, they said.
A grenade was hurled by militants to target the CRPF personnel posted in Kawdara locality of the interior area of the city in the afternoon, police said.
The area was cordoned off immediately after the explosion and further details are awaited.
I-League: Chennai City goes down to Real Kashmir
Real Kashmir downed the reigning champion Chennai City FC 2-1 at the TRC Turf Ground on Thursday. The match was the first big sporting event in the valley since it became a union territory.
Danish Farooq Bhat opened the scoring for Real Kashmir in the 22nd minute before Bazie Armand doubled the lead lie minutes later.
Syed Suhail Pasha’s second half goal halved the deficit for Chennai City but Real Kashmir held on to its lead for its first win of the season. The three points lifted the home side above the visitor into seventh place.
Chennai City hasn’t made a convincing defence of its crown having picked up just five points in as many games.
There were security concerns in the lead up to the game due to the abrogation of Article 370 and the ensuing lockdown in the valley.
The match wasn’t telecast on the official broadcaster DSport. “Due to the ongoing internet connectivity issues in the Kashmir region, today’s match between @ChennaiCityFC & @realkashmirfc will not be telecasted on DSPORT,” DSport posted on its official Twitter page.