India: Hard to treat ties as normal unless Pakistan addresses terror issue effectively

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016,17:43 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Pathankot terror strike has once again reinforced centrality of terrorism in Indo-Pak ties and it will be hard for India to treat the relations as normal unless Pakistan addresses the issue effectively, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said today.

Until we are able to address the issue (terrorism) effectively, obviously it is hard for us to say that the relationship is normal. Because this is what puts Pakistan in a different category than our other neighbours, he said during an interaction. However, the Foreign Secretary maintained that given the challenge of the relationship with Pakistan, India has fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism.

If you see the interactions, I think, one change has been the centrality of addressing the issue of terrorism to dialogue… That was reflected when the two Prime Ministers met in Ufa. It was underlined when the two NSAs met in Bangkok. If you see the reconstituted dialogue that we have, the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, the salience of terrorism (is there). Because this is not a point of argumentation.

It is taking into account about what is happening on the ground, he said. He was asked about the Modi government’s policy towards Pakistan, particularly in the aftermath of the Pathankot attack. Talking about India’s ties with neighbours, Jaishankar said Pakistan, of course, is a category by itself.

But given the challenge of the relationship we have fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism in maintaining an engagement that factors in the complexity of that polity and in enhancing the global understanding of our approach. That said, we also look beyond to a more normal relationship featuring economic cooperation and people-to- people ties.

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