“How do you deal with a neighbour…”: Jaishankar slams Pakistan over “industry level” terrorism

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Singapore: Emphasising the complex situation of dealing with a neighbour like Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Islamabad uses terrorism as an instrument of statecraft and does not even hide from the fact.

He affirmed that India will not skirt this problem anymore and the mood in the country is not to overlook the issue of terrorism.
The EAM, who is in Singapore as part of his three-nation visit, was speaking at the Institute of South Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore on his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’.

Speaking at the event, Jaishankar said, “Every country wants a stable neighbourhood…we have been unfortunate, or ill-starred to be blessed with the one we have to our west. How do you deal with a neighbour, who does not hide the fact that they use terrorism as an instrument of statecraft?”

Taking a veiled dig at Pakistan, the EAM said that in the country, terrorism exists almost at “industry level” and “assembly line”.
“It’s not a one-off, different countries at different points of time have experienced this. But, a very sustained, almost an industry level, assembly line…people whose job is to do bad things at night,” he said.

Jaishankar added that India has decided that it will have to find a way to address the problem because dodging it will only invite more trouble.

“I don’t have a quick, instantaneous fix, but what I can tell you is that India will not skirt this problem anymore…if we have a problem, we must be honest enough to face up to the problem. If you have to have those discussions, we should, if it’s hard to find a solution, we must work through. We should not give the other country free pass…in India the mood is not to overlook terrorism,” the EAM said.

“If you look at the changes that have happened in the last decade, the great deal of public anger to lack of response to terrorism threat is one factor,” he added.

Jaishankar is on an official visit to Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia from March 23-27.

The visit will focus on enhancing bilateral relations with the three countries, and would provide an opportunity for engagement on regional issues of mutual concern, a Ministry of External Affairs release said earlier.

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