No segmented fights
Without naming Pakistan, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said in September that there cannot be a segmented fight against terrorism by differentiating between state and non-state actors. “The state cannot escape responsibility by saying it is non-state,” Jaishankar said while speaking at the International Media Conference organised by the East West Center, a US-based institution for public diplomacy. “We have always maintained the view that acting against some groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, for other groups,” he said.
“So, you can’t have a segmented, differentiated fight against terrorists.” Jaishankar’s comments come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated “strongest action” against state sponsors of terrorism at the annual India-Asean Summit and the East Asia Summit held in Vientiane, Laos, in September.
India-Pakistan relations have soured in recent times following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in Jammu and Kashmir in July. Pakistan described Wani as a “martyr”. Over 70 people have died in large-scale violence in the state since then. The Foreign Secretary also said that India and China should partner in the fight against terrorism. “There is an expectation in India that a partner like China would be appreciative of India’s interests, especially when they are not in conflict with those of China,” he said. “Combating terrorism is one such area and sanctioning of well-known terrorist leaders and organisations should not emerge as an issue of difference,” he stated.
In March this year, China vetoed India’s request to the UN Security Council sanctions committee to include the name of Masood Azhar, the head of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohamed, in its list of terrorists. India has accused the JeM of being the perpetrator of the January 2 cross-border terror attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in which seven Indian security personnel lost their lives.
Jaishankar also said that China should not have reservations about India in connection with developmental issues “such as India’s predictable access to international cooperation and investments in the field of civil nuclear energy”.