S Jaishankar
S Jaishankar
File Pic

New Delhi: India officially unveiled its Kashmir agenda on Tuesday with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar saying that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir belongs to India and "we expect to have physical jurisdiction over it one day".

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have made similar statements in recent weeks but this is the first time the Foreign Minister is saying so at a press conference.

Jaishankar also said there was no need to "worry" beyond a point about what people have to say on the Kashmir issue and India's position has prevailed and would continue to do so.

He was referring to the discordant voices coming out of the US Congress.  ‘‘They say a lot of things because people go to individual members and say 'you need to say this'," he explained.

The minister also made it clear that revocation of Article 370 was a purely internal affair which India would not discuss with Pakistan.

Jaishankar, addressing his first press conference on completion of 100 days of the Modi 2.0 government, minced no words in stating that the only issue India would discuss with Pakistan would be of cross-border terrorism.

"First of all 370 is not a bilateral issue, 370 is an internal issue. With regard to Pakistan, the issue is not 370, the issue with Pakistan is terrorism," he said.

"There is no change in Pakistan policy. We must make the world realise Pakistan is fomenting terrorism. Show me one country which openly conducts terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy...What should come on the table first of all is the terrorism issue,’’ he said.

On revocation of special status for Kashmir, he emphasised that Article 370 was a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution and it had to end someday.

This is what India has been telling the world."It was a temporary provision and the meaning of temporary is that it has to come to an end. This provision had actually become dysfunctional and it was being arbitraged by a narrow set of people for their own gains, and that was leading to lack of development.

The lack of development was feeding a sense of separatism, and that separatism was being utilised by Pakistan to carry out its cross border terrorism."He said that most of the world understood this logic.

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