• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Diplomacy

India foreign minister Jaishankar’s brutal take on Pakistan: ‘No one talks about losing stock’

The diplomat told India’s NDTV that scrapping Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status has been one of the biggest achievements of the Modi government.

Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday (29) took a dig at neighbouring Pakistan over the Kashmir problem — saying “no one talks about a losing stock”.

In an exclusive interview by India’s NDTV ahead of the G20 summit in New Delhi next month, Jaishankar was told that one of his major achievements as the foreign minister is that he is no longer quizzed about the Pakistan-Kashmir issue, something that many of his predecessors and their governments had to routinely face in the past.

In his response, the diplomat said what he could remark if no one today talks about Pakistan or it is not mentioned as such.

“If today no one talks about Pakistan or it is not mentioned as much… what can I say? One way of looking at it is ‘verdict of the market’. Which losing stock talks? No one talks about a losing stock,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying by the channel.

Pakistan is currently going through a serious economic turmoil while India recently succeeded in landing an unmanned mission on the moon.

In April, New Delhi dismissed Islamabad’s objection to the hosting of a G20 meeting in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Narendra Modi government told Pakistan that it is “natural” to hold events in those areas as they are an “integral and inalienable” part of India.

A G20 tourism working group meet was held in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir while a youth event was organised in Leh, Ladakh.

The foreign ministry of Pakistan had earlier accused India of making “irresponsible move” and said rescheduling of the events “the latest in a series of self-serving measures”.

Jaishankar also touched upon the subject of Jammu and Kashmir and the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted the former state “special status”. The Modi government said the removal of the status played a key role in dealing with terrorism in the region.

“Honestly… I was a member of the cabinet in 2019 and involved in the decisions taken. One part is still amazed at how we allowed this situation to fester for so long,” the minister was quoted as saying. He referred to a conversation with a close friend from Kashmir who had just returned from the region.

The diplomat said how he first visited parts of Jammu and Kashmir in 1979 as a civil servant and how he returned there after becoming a minister in the Modi government four decades later.

“I was amazed at how little had changed… and how many things had happened in the rest of India that were not there. For me, from a foreign policy perspective, I saw how the rest of this world used this (Kashmir) issue to pressure us… damage us,” he told NDTV, stressing that the scrapping of Article 370 has been one of the Indian government’s biggest achievements — one with “long-term benefits”.

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