Action against terror cannot be based on rules, says S Jaishankar : The Tribune India

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Action against terror cannot be based on rules, says S Jaishankar



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13

Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that there cannot be any rules in the country to answer to terrorists as they do not play by rules, and that India is committed to respond to any act of terrorism perpetrated from across the borders.

Blames past policies

Let us be honest that the one country that is very, very difficult is Pakistan, and for that, we should only introspect why. One reason for this is us (old policies). S Jaishankar, EAM

Interacting with youth at an event titled ‘Why Bharat Matters: Opportunity for youth and participation in global scenario’ in Pune on Friday, he attacked the UPA regime over its response to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. The minister said after a lot of deliberation, the then government decided that the cost of attacking Pakistan was more than not attacking it. “So, after a lot of deliberation, nothing fruitful came out,” he said. Jaishankar said terrorists should not feel that as they were across the border, no one could touch them. “Terrorists do not play by any rules. The response to terrorists cannot have any rules,” he said. On change in India’s foreign policy, the minister said, “We have to be very clear in our minds about terrorism. Under no circumstances is terrorism acceptable from any neighbour or from anyone who uses terrorism to force you to sit at the negotiating table. This should never be accepted.”

Asked about countries with which India found it challenging to maintain relationships, Jaishankar said India should, in fact, question whether it should maintain any relationship with certain countries. “Well, one is just next to us. Let us be honest, the one country that is very, very difficult is Pakistan, and for that, we should only introspect why. One reason for this is us,” he said.

Jaishankar said had India been clear from the start that Pakistan was indulging in terrorism, which India should not tolerate under any circumstances, the country would have had a vastly different policy. “This problem (terrorism) did not start in 2014. It did not begin with the Mumbai attacks. It happened in 1947 when the first people (invaders) came to Kashmir and attacked Kashmir. It was an act of terrorism.

“In 1947, the invaders were burning down villages and towns. They were killing people. These people were tribals from Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. The Pakistan army backed them. We sent the Army and the integration of Kashmir took place,” the minister said.

Jaishankar took a swipe at first PM Jawaharlal Nehru saying, “While the Indian Army was taking action, we stopped in the middle and went to the UN, mentioning that the attack was by tribal invaders instead of terrorism, as if it was a legitimate force.”

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