The defence minister Rajnath Singh had recently made it clear that any talk with Pakistan would now focus on PoK and not on J&K.
India is expected to have ‘physical jurisdiction’ over Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) one day as it is a part of India, says the government. Addressing media persons to highlight the achievements of the Ministry of External Affairs during the first 100 days of the Modi government, S Jaishankar asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was an internal matter of India. ‘’On PoK, our position is that it has been and will be a part of India. We expect one day, we will have physical jurisdiction over it,’’ he said in response to a question.
Jaishankar is the second senior minister in the government who has gone on record to say that New Delhi would now lay its claim on PoK after scrapping Article 370 in J&K. The defence minister Rajnath Singh had recently made it clear that any talk with Pakistan would now focus on PoK and not on J&K. Jaishankar said that the international community, by and large, understood the fact that Article 370 was a temporary provision in the Constitution of the country which had to go one day. According to him, the provision was an obstacle in the way of the growth and development of J&K. And this was being exploited by Pakistan to promote terrorism and since there was no development it was “feeding separatism” which was being exploited by the neighbouring country.
‘’This was never a bilateral matter between the India and Pakistan and the logic behind the scrapping of Article 370 are well known. The issue with Pakistan is terrorism.” He said there is no change in India’s policy on Pakistan.
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Alluding to Pakistan, the minister said, “We have a unique challenge from one neighbour and that would remain a challenge so until that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour and acts against cross-border terrorism.”
To question what would the global leaders say at the UNGA, the minister said that “Beyond a point, don’t worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir. There is complete predictability about my position. “My position has been clear since 1972 and my position is not going to change. At the end of the day, it is my issue,” he stated.
On Afghanistan, he said that some countries develop a reputation, he recalled Prime Minister Modi’s remarks during a visit to Afghanistan where he talked about “information technology” Vs “international terrorism”. The minister explained that IT has two different meanings, in the context of India – it is known for its IT professional, and in reference to Pakistan it is known globally for promoting terrorism.