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25 Sep, 2019 08:27

India won’t talk with ‘Terroristan,’ New Delhi says in swipe at Pakistan

India won’t talk with ‘Terroristan,’ New Delhi says in swipe at Pakistan

India’s external affairs minister has accused Pakistan of being a safe haven for terrorism, stating that New Delhi was open to dialogue with Islamabad, but only if it stops acting like “Terroristan.”

Speaking at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar accused Pakistan of creating an “entire industry of terrorism” to pursue its foreign policy objectives in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

He stressed that New Delhi was willing to sit down at the negotiating table with Islamabad – but first Pakistan would have to turn away from terrorism.

“We have a problem talking to Terroristan. And they have to be one and not be the other,” he said.

The diplomat also defended India’s decision to withdraw Kashmir’s special status, claiming that previous governments had repeatedly tried – but failed – to solve the humanitarian and security issues in the territory.

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“The options were either we do more of the same knowing it doesn’t work, or we do something different,” he noted. “So the choice was, ‘Okay, we’ll do something different.’”

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of using state-sponsored terrorism. Earlier this month, Jaishankar said that India faces a “unique challenge” from Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of “openly” using terrorism as part of its foreign policy.

Islamabad has denied that it supports terrorism, and has condemned India’s recent actions in Kashmir as unlawful and provocative. Both nations have acknowledged that rising tensions could escalate into full-scale war – or even a nuclear conflict.

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