Amid rising tension between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that Islamabad has an "attitude towards use of terrorism as an instrumental policy of diplomacy” which makes the Indo-Pak relationship difficult to grow.
Speaking at Delhi's Foreign Correspondents Club, the FS said, “Rest of the region is with us in wanting a much more cooperative and connected South Asia but we have this one standout country which not only has a different view of region but also has an attitude towards use of terrorism as an instrumental policy of diplomacy.”
Jaishankar said that the issue of terrorism makes the Indo-Pak relationship difficult to grow.
Commenting on India’s relationship with its neighbour, Jaishankar said, “Problem is that the terrorism issue has become so central to the relationship that it makes the relationship difficult to grow. At times, domestic politics of our neighbours pose challenges. We've learnt to be patient.”
“Looking at the neighbourhood, we clearly face a unique challenge in respect to one country which is Pakistan,” he added.
Jaishankar stressed on the need to go extra mile for India’s neighbours and said, “As biggest country of region, we have to go the extra mile, we’ve to reach out to our neighbors, we have to make them feel secure.”
His comments came on the day when India formally turned down Pakistan’s offer for Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir.
Responding to Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry's invitation, India's foreign secretary S Jaishankar today expressed his willingness to travel to Islamabad but maintained Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.
The response was handed over to Pakistan by Indian high commissioner to Islamabad Gautam Bambawale.