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S Jaishankar on ‘undiplomatic’ words against Pakistan: ‘I could use much harsher words’ | India News

NEW DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar has said that he could use “much harsher words” than “epicentre” to describe Pakistan’s role in promoting cross-border terrorism.
“Because you are a diplomat, doesn’t mean you are untruthful. I could use much harsher words than epicentre, so believe me, considering what has been happening to us, I think epicentre is a very diplomatic word,” Jaishankar said in an interview with Austria’s ZIB2 podcast.
Jaishankar embarked on a two-nation visit to Cyprus and Austria on December 29. His ongoing visit to Austria will conclude on January 3.
Underlining that the world needs to be more concerned about terrorism, the minister criticised European nations for not condemning “terrorism practices” that have been going on for multiple decades in the neighbouring nation.
“This is a country which has attacked the Parliament of India some years ago, which attacked the city of Mumbai, which went after hotels, and foreign tourists, which every day sends terrorists across the border,” said Jaishankar in reference to the Mumbai 2008 attacks.
During a joint press briefing with the Austrian foreign ministry, Jaishankar had said (without naming any specific country but the reference was obvious) that since the “epicentre of terrorism is located close to India, our experiences and insights are valuable to others”.
During the ZIB2 podcast when the anchor said that Pakistan does not spread terrorism as a country, Jaishankar responded: “If you control your sovereign space, which I believe they do. If terrorist camps operate in broad daylight in cities with recruitment and financing, can you really tell me that the Pakistani state doesn’t know what’s going on? Especially, they are being trained in military-level, combat tactics.”
Jaishankar also hit out at the European countries for not condemning Pakistan. “When we speak about judgments and principles, why don’t I hear sharp European condemnation of these practices that have been going on for decades?” he said.
When asked about the possibility of war in the future between India and Pakistan, Jaishankar said that the “world should be more concerned about terrorism.”
“The world has to be concerned that terrorism is going on and it looks away, often feels it is not their problem because it’s happening to some other countries. I think the world needs to be concerned about how sincerely and strongly it takes up the challenge of terrorism,” said Jaishankar.
He also hit out at the anchor for defending and “giving a free pass to Pakistan” on the issue of terrorism.
“We all need to be concerned about terrorism. If you pose it the way you do, it’s like giving a free pass to terrorism, you know, let’s worry about the next consequence of it. I am worried about terrorism,” added Jaishankar.
During the interview Jaishankar also spoke about border tensions between India and China.
He squarely blamed China for disturbing the border peace that had largely held since the 1962 war.
“You’ve satellite pictures. If you see who moved the forces to the border areas first, I think the record is very clear,” Jaishankar said. “We had agreements with China not to mass forces in our border areas and they have not observed those agreements, which is why we have currently tense situation. We had an agreement not to unilaterally change the line of control, which they have tried to unilaterally do.”
(With inputs from agencies)



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