‘If they wind down this industry...’: Jaishankar slams Pakistan over terror - What EAM said on neighbouring countries

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Delhi and discussed several issues, including relations with Pakistan, China, and other countries.

Livemint
Updated17 May 2024
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressing the CII Annual Business Summit 2024 on May 17. Photo: Twitter
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressing the CII Annual Business Summit 2024 on May 17. Photo: Twitter

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar warned that tolerance for any cross-border terrorism activity in India is very low and said that if Pakistan winds down this industry that it has created, then people will treat them as a normal neighbour. The External Affairs Minister was speaking at the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Delhi on Friday.

Speaking about China, Jaishankar asked if peace and tranquillity in border areas are disturbed, would you do business with someone who has just barged into your drawing room? 

These are some statements that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made on our neighbouring countries.

Also Read: Indian companies should reduce dependence on China, reiterates Jaishankar

On Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan

 

Looking at the last 10 years, there has been great improvement in regional connectivity and inter-dependence. Look at Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. You can definitely see that in Bangladesh and Nepal, there is road and rail connectivity, fuel pipelines, increased volume of business, and access to ports in Bangladesh is very big.   

On Sri Lanka

In the case of Sri Lanka, we have three big proposals: 1) a land bridge to Sri Lanka, 2) a power grid to Sri Lanka and 3) a fuel pipeline to Sri Lanka.

On Maldives

Our development projects are doing well. We had some political turbulence, which we are hopeful about managing. Things are a little bit more constructive after the visit of my counterpart.

Also read: 'There's sense of pride about where PM Modi has taken the country,' External Affairs Minister Jaishankar amid LS polls

On Pakistan

We have struggled continuously with the fact that they have unrelentingly practised cross-border terrorism. It was the attitude in our country earlier that we put up with terrorism as the eccentricity of a neighbour. The people of this country made a clear decision in 2024 that they will not accept it. In our country, the tolerance for any cross-border terrorism is very low. It is clear that there will be consequences both across LoC and IB if something like this happens. Now, the ball is in their court. 

Message to Pakistan

If they wind down this industry they have created, then people will treat them as normal neighbours. If they make this their core competence, that will define their image. We have been straight with them. They have to make up their mind. Part of the problem is that after 2019, the Imran Khan government took a number of steps that downgraded relations. We did not do, they did. Our messaging is very clear.

Also Read: How did PM Modi intervene in Russia-Ukraine war? EAM S Jaishankar says ‘we took two calls…’

On China

- Where China is concerned, there are at least three aspects to it. The fundamental aspect is, if peace and tranquillity in border areas are disturbed, would you do business with someone who has just barged into your drawing room and is trying to make a mess of your house fencing? It's common sense that if a country has gone back on written agreements and is doing something on our borders, how can we say that the business world will continue as normal and other things won't? By the way, this doesn't mean business stops, and numbers show that. We need to define the problem, such as whether we take precautions today and identify more sensitive businesses.

- Another issue that has built up over the last twenty years is trade imbalance. In the long run, we will have to consider how we encourage domestic sourcing and manufacturing.

- Third, we need to put a national security filter. Where China is concerned, we will still encourage people in this country to manufacture in India and procure from India. We are not completely and utterly prohibiting people from working with China, but we would much rather you work with Indian companies if the option is available. That's good for national security. 

Also Read: ‘Narrow’: EAM S Jaishankar reacts to US' ‘sanction warning’ after Chabahar Port deal

On consequences of the Ukraine conflict

According to PTI, Jaishankar extensively delved into the consequences of the Ukraine conflict, escalation of violence in West Asia and disruption of logistics because of the geopolitical tensions, sanctions, incidents of drone attacks and climate events.

The world is experiencing a 3F crisis of fuel, food, and fertilisers. In Asia, new tensions have emerged on land and sea as agreements are dishonoured and the rule of law disregarded. Terrorism and extremism have started to consume those who have long practised it. In many ways, we are going through the perfect storm.

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