'We have been unfortunate...,' S. Jaishankar criticizes Pakistan

Discussing the complexities of dealing with a neighbour like Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar pointed out that Islamabad openly uses terrorism as a state policy tool and does not conceal this fact.

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External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar highlighted the complex nature of India's relationship with Pakistan, emphasising that Islamabad openly utilises terrorism as a state policy tool without concealing it. During his address at the Institute of South Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore as part of his three-nation visit, Jaishankar discussed the need to confront the issue of terrorism directly rather than turning a blind eye to it.

Addressing the audience, Jaishankar mentioned, “Every country desires a stable neighbourhood... unfortunately, we have the unique challenge of a neighbour to our west that openly acknowledges using terrorism as a tool of statecraft.” He made a subtle reference to Pakistan, noting that terrorism there operates almost like an "industry" with a systematic process akin to an "assembly line."

Acknowledging India's decision to tackle terrorism head-on, Jaishankar stressed the importance of not evading the issue, as it would only complicate matters further. He stated, “India will no longer shy away from addressing this problem. We must be honest in acknowledging and confronting the problem rather than turning a blind eye. The prevailing sentiment in India is to tackle terrorism directly and not ignore it.”

Jaishankar also commented on the shift in public perception over the past decade, noting increased public anger and demand for a robust response to the terrorism threat. He reiterated India's commitment to engaging in discussions and finding solutions while ensuring that terrorism is not overlooked or given a free pass.

Currently on an official visit to Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia from March 23 to March 27, Jaishankar aims to strengthen bilateral ties and engage in discussions on regional issues of mutual interest with these nations, as per the Ministry of External Affairs release.