Need to engage with Pak for it to act: Jaishankar

'States should refrain from using terrorism as a card'

Need to engage with Pak for it to act: Jaishankar
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday justified New Delhi’s decision to continue its engagement with Islamabad, stating that it was the only way to make Pakistan act against terror groups targeting India.

Jaishankar said that while he has been in touch with Pakistan Foreign Secretary A A Chaudhry since the January 2-5 attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is also maintaining regular contact with his counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua.

“Since Pathankot attack happened, we have been in touch with Pakistan. We have been in touch at my level and the NSA level because only by remaining in touch, we can expect them to progress on the basis of information which we have provided to them,” a PTI report quoted the foreign secretary saying in Jaipur.

He was responding to a question from the audience after speaking at a Counter-Terrorism Conference organised by India Foundation, along with Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice, Jodhpur.

“Terrorism should not be confused for social media, with our responses limited to the ‘trending’ activities. Because new threats have emerged does not mean that the tested ones have gone away,” the foreign secretary said.   

“At the end of the day,” Jaishankar said in a veiled reference to Pakistan, “much would depend on persuading states to refrain from using terrorism as a card in the games that nations play. For those who continue to be tempted, all I can say is that there is enough history to demonstrate that the caregivers of terrorism are bitten by those they nurture.”

Noting that terrorism is today widely seen “as a truly global scourge”, Jaishankar said: “That in itself is a great improvement over an era where it was perceived in compartmentalized and geopolitical terms, as a law and order issue, an instrument of statecraft or an expression of beliefs. That era created the adage that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. No longer. The world does not accept today that any ‘root cause’ justifies terrorism.”

The attack on the IAF base at Pathankot took place just a few weeks after India had agreed to restart its formal bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, after a two-year-long hiatus. Preliminary investigation revealed that not only had the terrorists had crossed over from Pakistan, but that Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives based in the neighbouring country had also planned and coordinated the strike. New Delhi, however, did not drift from its engagement with Islamabad, though the proposed January 15 meeting between the two foreign secretaries was deferred.
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