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"Pakistan was trying to use cross-border terrorism...we have made that policy irrelevant": Jaishankar on Modi government approach

New Delhi: India has made "irrelevant" Pakistan's policy of using cross-border terrorism to bring it to the table for dialogue, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said and noted that New Delhi will not deal with the western neighbour on terms where "the practice of terrorism is deemed as legitimate".
In an interview with ANI, Jaishankar said India is not unwilling to deal with Pakistan and indicated that it has to create a conducive environment free of terror and hostility.
Referring to the Modi government's approach in dealing with Pakistan, he said India is not "playing that game now" and will not tolerate cross-border terrorism.
"What Pakistan was trying to do, not now but over multiple decades, was really to use cross-border terrorism to bring India to the table. That, in essence, was its core policy. We have made that irrelevant by not playing that game now. It's not a case that we won't deal with a neighbour. After all, at the end of the day, a neighbour is a neighbour, but it is that we will not deal on the basis of terms that they set where the practice of terrorism is deemed as legitimate and effective in order to bring you to the table," Jaishankar said answering a query in relation to his new book 'Why Bharat Matters'.
India had in August last year said that an environment free of terror and hostilities was imperative for normal ties with Pakistan.
Answering queries after the then Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had expressed his willingness to hold talks with India, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that India wants normal ties with all its neighbouring countries including Pakistan.
"We desire normal neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. For this an environment free of terror and hostility is imperative," a MEA spokesperson had said.
Jaishankar had said in an earlier interview with ANI that Pakistan's future will be largely determined by its own actions and choices and it is for the neighbouring country to find a way out of its economic troubles.
He had referred to India's assistance to Sri Lanka during the economic crisis faced by the island country and said it is a very different relationship.
"I think Pakistan's future is largely determined by Pakistan's actions and by Pakistan's choices. Nobody reaches a difficult situation suddenly and without cause. It is for them to find a way out. Our relationship today is not one where we can be relevant directly to that process," Jaishankar had said.
Pakistan is grappling with economic difficulties including dwindling forex reserves, high inflation and sharp depreciation of its currency.

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