Terrorism remains focal point of ties with Pak: India

New Delhi : Amid the see-sawing developments over the Pathankot Air Base attack between Indian and Pakistan, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Wednesday asserted that terrorism remained the focal point in the relationship between the two nations and will continue to be so until the issue is addressed ‘effectively’.

Speaking at the launch of Carnegie India, the Foreign Secretary stated that one change in the relationship between the two nations has been the centrality of addressing the issue of terrorism.

“That factor was reflected when the two Prime Ministers met in UFA and the two NSAs met in Bangkok. Until we are able to address the issue effectively, it is hard for us to say that the relationship is normal. This is what puts Pakistan in a different category than other neighbours and this is not an issue that comes up with other neighbours. So, yes terrorism remains the focus of our relationship and Pathankot has made it so as well,” Jaishankar said.

He also said that given the challenges in the relationship between the two nations, India had fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism.

Talking about China collaborating with Pakistan to block India’s proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, he added that the matter had been taken up with Beijing at a higher level.

He, however, said that this was an issue that could be pursued only at the level of United Nations.

“We have taken up the issue (Masood) with the Chinese at a fairly high level and we will continue to pursue this. This is an issue to be pursued with the Chinese at a UN level. So, I would not like to give the impression that this is going to overflow into other areas,” Jaishankar said.

Earlier, the Centre had said that India would take appropriate action over China blocking India’s bid.

Meanwhile, the report published in Pakistan Today, which states that the Joint Investigation Team has concluded that the Pathankot terror attack was staged by India to spread ‘vicious propaganda’ against Pakistan, is a total concoction, said sources.

The sources claimed that while in India, the JIT took onboard the detailed evidence which was shared by NIA and since the JIT collected evidence in accordance with a Pakistani law which applies to Pakistani citizens committing an offence abroad, the involvement of Pakistanis in the Pathankot terror attack is self evident.

The Pakistan JIT is set to give its report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and sections of the Pakistan media have claimed that India is indulging in ‘vicious propaganda’ against Islamabad. (ANI)