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PoK part of India, will have control one day: Jaishankar

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New Delhi, Sep 17: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has always been part of India and some day the country will have "physical jurisdiction" over it.

 S Jaishankar

"Our position has, is and will always be very clear on PoK, that it is part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it," Jaishankar said.

There is no need to "worry" too much beyond a point about what people will say on Kashmir as it was its internal issue on which its position has "prevailed and will prevail", he added.

Addressing his first press conference after assuming the office in the Modi 2.0 government in May, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also hit out at Pakistan, saying India has a "unique challenge" from one neighbour and it would remain a challenge until that neighbour becomes a normal neighbour and acts against cross-border terrorism.

Indo-US ties on upward trajectory: Jaishankar ahead of PM's US visit

He also made it clear that with Pakistan, the issue is not Article 370, the issue is cross-border terrorism and the first thing that has to come to table for any talks with Pakistan has to be the terrorism issue.

Amidst concerns expressed by some countries and the UN human rights organisation over situation in Kashmir, Jaishankar said international audience understands what were India's reasons for abrogating Article 370.

"It was a temporary provision which is not often used in the analysis of events...The provision had actually become dysfunctional. It was being arbitraged by some narrow set of people for their own gains.

By doing so they were impeding development and feeding a sense of separatism. The separatism was being utilised by Pakistan to carry out cross-border terrorism," he said.

Asserting that India's position on Kashmir has been clear since 1972 and it is not going to change, he said,"beyond a point, don't worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir. There is a complete predictability about my position... At the end of the day, it is my issue. On my issue, my position has prevailed and will prevail."

The minister said India's narrative on issues like cross-border terrorism and abrogation of Article 370 has been articulated to global audience.

In an obvious reference to Pakistan, Jaishankar 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."

Last month, the government abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir to withdraw its special status as well as announced bifurcation of the state into two union territories --Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

This move was severely criticised by Pakistan with its prime minister Imran Khan making highly provocative anti-India rhetoric. On Khan's remarks that there is no point talking to India, he said part of the problem with Pakistan is that it has only been talking and not doing anything on terrorism.

"They think nice words are an answer to the real problem. The real problem is the dismantling of this (terror) industry that they have created....Show me a country in the world which will accept that its neighbour can conduct terrorism and then it will go and talk to that neighbour. Our position is completely normal, rational.

Talking about performance of the ministry in first 100 days, he said, one of the key achievements of the government in this period has been a strong connection between national security and foreign policy goals. He also said that India's ability and appetite to shape the foreign agenda today is much more than before.

"Collaborations have become more salient parts of India's foreign policy. Connections between national security and foreign policy. Co-relation between national security goals and foreign policy goals have grown stronger," Jaishankar said while briefing media to mark 100 days of the second term of Modi government.

"I think today if you look at the big debates at multilateral forums G20, BRICS, you will see that the Indian voice, Indian views are today heard much more clearly," he said.

Attacking Pakistan on its human rights track record, he said, "here is a country where minority numbers have gone down so much, I think they have even stopped putting the numbers in public domain. If there is an objective human rights audit of this region, I am pretty confident about which country will come the last."

There is a growing understanding in the world (about Pakistan) and there is not a single country in the world that would say that cross-border terrorism is not happening, he added.

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