India’s position on PoJK not of one party but of whole nation: Jaishankar

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Reaffirming India’s stand that Pakistan-occupied-Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) is an integral part of India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that this is not just the Bharatiya Janata Party’s position but that of the whole country.

He further said that the prime concern regarding Pakistan is that of terrorism, and if anything unruly happens, it will be given a firm response.

“On the issue of PoJK, there is a national position and not the party’s position. The Parliament of India has taken a united stand and every political party in the country has supported that stand. We will never accept that the PoJK is not a part of India. It’s a united stand, it remains our stand,” Jaishankar said addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

“The central issue where Pakistan is concerned is terrorism, and on the terrorism issue, we as a party and the government have been very clear that we will not ignore terrorism and won’t look away when terrorism happens. If something happens, we will deal with it, we will reply and that has been our record,” he added.

On being asked about the relation with China, the Foreign Minister acknowledged that the relationship is challenging, but affirmed that India will compete in a competitive way.

“We have challenging relationships with China. But, this is a country that is confident, which is capable of advancing and defending its interests in a competitive way and we will compete,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar also refuted any doubts regarding India’s relation with its neighbours, adding that there might be “forces” inside India and in the neighbourhood “who want to create problems.”

He further said that barring Pakistan and China, India’s relationship with the neighbourhood is much better that it has been for a long time.

“If we talk about neighbours, please go to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and ask people what they think. During their deepest economic trouble, who stood by? Go to Nepal and ask them where do you get your vaccines, who gave you fertilizer and fuel when the Ukraine trouble happened. So, I won’t agree that our neighbourhood is not in our favour. There may be forces in the neighbourhood and ‘forces behind forces’ who create problems…there may be people in India who like to play out this problem,” the EAM said.

He added, “As I said we have very abnormal relation with China. With Pakistan, you all know what is the state of current relationship. But, barring those two, our relationship with the neighbourhood has been much better than it has been for a long time.” (Agencies)

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