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US support for Pakistan contributed to India-Pak problems, says EAM Jaishankar

Source : Firstpost

US support for Pakistan contributed to India-Pak problems, says EAM Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks at the CNN-News18 Townhall on Saturday. (News18)



External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Saturday said, a lot of India’s problems with Pakistan are directly attributable to the support that the United States gave to Pakistan. The Union minister was speaking at the CNN News18 Town Hall.

The comment comes in the wake of Pakistan-based terrorists continuing to instigate and arm extremists in Jammu and Kashmir and vitiating peace in the Valley. Besides, the dig at America comes only two days after the Joe Biden administration, which repeatedly emphasises it zero-tolerance towards terrorism, said Washington will look at ways to advance ties with Islamabad in a manner that serves the mutual interests of both the countries.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Thursday had termed Pakistan America’s partner.

“Pakistan is a partner of ours, and we will look to ways to advance that partnership in a manner. But Pakistan is a partner of ours, and we will look to ways to advance that partnership in a manner that serves our interest and our mutual interests as well,” he said.

Earlier, in May, Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was on a visit to the US at the invitation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

On Pakistan

Speaking on India’s relation with Pakistan, Jaishankar claimed that few people on either side of the border has worked harder than Prime Minister Narendra Modi to smoothen relationship between the two countries. Since the very beginning of his tenure, the prime minister has made every effort to extend a hand of friendship, “but what went wrong?”, asked the foreign minister.

Answering his own question he said, Pakistan went wrong by being unable to prevent Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama.

The Pakistan Foreign Office on Friday said in a statement, “There is no change in Pakistan’s policy on India on which there is national consensus. Pakistan has always desired cooperative relations with all its neighbours, including India. We have consistently advocated constructive engagement and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The statement was issued in response to confusion following Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s “strong pitch for re-engaging with New Delhi.”

Speaking on the statement, Jaishankar said, while he does not want to decry or minimise anybody’s desire to improve India-Pakistan relations, those “nice words have to match with actions on ground.”

However refusing to sound pessimistic, Jaishankar said that the Pakistan government is still new and one can only wait and watch to see how it chooses to govern the state.

On Afghanistan

Speaking on Afghanistan, Jaishankar said that “India has a historical relation with Afghanistan.” He goes on to say that there are few other places in the world where the popular sentiment towards India is so positive.

India has contributed to the construction of Afghanistan’s civil society, whether it is building hospitals or bringing electricity, said Jaishankar. But following the Taliban takeover of the country last year, the foreign minister said the country is bound to slide. It has already started suffering from various shortages. And India has continued to try to help, with medicines, vaccines, food grain etc, he said.

The current question, however, before India is how to further help Afghanistan and its people in the most concrete way.

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