India on Tuesday reiterated its stand on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) clearly stating that the region is part of India and the country expects to have the physical jurisdiction over it one day. Addressing the media on the completion of 100 days of his government, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted that India's position on PoK has always been very clear.
"Our position on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has always been and will always be very clear. PoK is part of India and we expect one day that we will have the physical jurisdiction over it."
The EAM also stated that he will meet Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). "On what happens, if or when, whatever..., I meet the Pakistani Foreign Minister on the sidelines of UNGA. We will see when that happens," he added.
Slamming Pakistan, Jaishankar reiterated that the issue with Pakistan is not the scrapping of Article 370 but the country's terrorists and India must make the world realise that. He said, "With regard to Pakistan, the issue is not Article 370 but Pakistan’s terrorists. We must make the world realise. I always ask other people show me anywhere else in the world where any country conducts terrorism openly against its neighbour as part of what it considers its foreign policy."
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday asserted India's aim to build a better and stronger neighbourhood but added that it would remain a challenge as there is the issue of cross border terrorism from one neighbour. Jaishankar in a veiled jibe at Pakistan added that India has a unique challenge from one neighbour. He further added that India can't take any step until the issue of cross border terrorism is successfully addressed and "that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour".
Speaking on the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Jaishankar asserted that the objective was to seek access to him, to ascertain his well-being. He added that it was one step in eventually providing that remedy which International Court of Justice (ICJ) has mandated and finally "finding a solution which would bring an innocent person back to his country".
"Our objective was to seek access to him, to ascertain his well-being. Seeking access to him was one step in eventually providing that remedy which ICJ has mandated and finally finding a solution which would bring an innocent person back to his country. We had to look at a variety of factors and see what's the importance you put at this time to ascertaining his well being. We thought ascertaining his well being is a priority issue at this point and we wanted to begin proceedings however unsatisfactory they may be. Whether the Pakistanis carried out in letter and spirit what the International Court of Justice wanted them to do, I think is obvious to all," he said.
The EAM also highlighted the human rights violations in Pakistan's Sindh and the treatment of minorities, adding that if there is a human rights audit in this part of the world, "I can pretty confidently assert who'll come last in it". He further added that this isn't a new thing.
"Here's a country which is waxing eloquent about other nations. Look at their treatment of minorities, I think minority number has come down dramatically in the last 70 years to a point where they don't even put it out publicly anymore. What is happening now in Sindh (Pakistan) is not the only thing which has happened in the last 100 days. You also had cases of abduction of Sikh girls. I think if there is a human rights audit today in this part of the world I can pretty confidently assert who'll come last in it," added Jaishankar.