NEW DELHI :
EXTERNAL Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that India expects to have physical jurisdiction over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir “one day”. “Our position on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) very clear. PoK is a part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it,” the EAM said during a briefing on the 100-day achievements of the MEA under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term in power.
He also shed light on the State of minorities in Pakistan when asked about the issue. During his nearly 75-minute press interaction, the minister touched upon wide-ranging issues pertaining to country’s foreign relations, including strategic ties and issues with the US, engagement with China and New Delhi’s status at the global stage. He also rejected reports of scuffle between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the bank of the Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh last week, and said it was “not a skirmish” but a “face-off” which was resolved using bilateral mechanisms in place to defuse such situations.
He also made it clear that with Pakistan, the issue is not Article 370, the issue is cross-border terrorism and the first thing that has to come to table for any talks with Pakistan has to be the terrorism issue. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have made statements in this regard in the recent past after Pakistan sought to internationalise the Kashmir issue in the wake of abrogation of Article 370. Amidst concerns expressed by some countries and the UN Human Rights organisation over situation in Kashmir, Jaishankar said international audience understands what were India’s reasons for abrogating Article 370.
“It was a temporary provision which is not often used in the analysis of events...The provision had actually become dysfunctional. It was being arbitraged by some narrow set of people for their own gains. By doing so they were impeding development and feeding a sense of separatism. The separatism was being utilised by Pakistan to carry out cross-border terrorism,” he said. Asserting that India’s position on Kashmir has been clear since 1972 , he said, “beyond a point, don’t worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir. There is a complete predictability about my position.At the end of the day, it is my issue. On my issue, my position has prevailed and will prevail.”