NEW DELHI: The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said today the government’s position on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) had always been that it is a part of India and “we expect to have jurisdiction over it one day”.
He also said there was no need to “worry” beyond a point about what people would say on Jammu and Kashmir and that India’s position on its internal issues has and would prevail.
“PoK is part of India and we expect one day that we will have the jurisdiction, physical jurisdiction over it,” Jaishankar said at a press conference to brief the media about the government’s foreign policy achievements in the 100 days since it came to power in May.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have made similar statements in recent weeks amid Pakistan’s attempts to internationalise Kashmir after India’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir last month.
The External Affairs Minister said Pakistan would remain a “unique challenge” until it “successfully” addressed cross-border terrorism and “becomes a normal neighbour”.
“Show me anywhere else in the world where any country conducts terrorism against its neighbour as part of its foreign policy,” Jaishankar said during a question and answer session.
“Pakistan is only talking but actually doing nothing on terrorism. Our position is normal and rational. Their behaviour is an aberration, the abnormality is there.” The immediate neighbourhood remained a priority for India, with focus on generous and non-reciprocal policy aimed at increasing business and people-to-people contacts, he said.
On the possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan meeting at the UN General Assembly session in New York later this month, where both leaders are expected to speak, the minister said: “Just look at the climate of relations right now, and that should give you the answer.”
Jaishankar also responded to questions on the way foreign media has been reporting the security measures in Jammu and Kashmir since the decision to scrap special status under Article 370. “People are entitled to their views . I have rarely seen a story from anyone that 370 was a temporary provision,” the Foreign Minister said.
“Don’t worry about what people will say on Jammu and Kashmir. India’s position clear since 1972. On my issue, my position will prevail. I’ve spent a lot of my working life dealing with the US Congress. They say a lot of things because people go to individual members, and say ‘you need to say this’.”__Kashmir Times