Ball is in Pakistan’s court on winding down terrorism industry: EAM

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at the CII event in New Delhi

New Delhi, May 17: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said today that Pakistan will have to “wind down its terrorism industry” to be treated like a normal neighbour and added that India will have to “wait and see” what path the new government in Pakistan takes regarding ties with New Delhi.

Answering questions at a CII event in New Delhi on where India’s ties stand with Pakistan, the EAM said that it was the Imran Khan government that downgraded ties with India post the 2019 abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jaishankar said that in India the “tolerance for any kind of cross border terrorism is very low and there will be consequences for it”, adding that this was the “message of the Uri and Balakote” strikes on terror camps in Pakistan by India.

He said that India has “struggled continuously with the fact that Pakistan has unrelentingly practiced terrorism, cross border terrorism”, and after the advent of the Modi government at the centre in 2014 India has given up its earlier attitude of tolerating terrorism practised by Pakistan.

“Now the ball is in their court. If they wind down the industry (terrorism) which they have built up over many, many decades then people will treat them like a normal neighbour. If they make this their core competence, then obviously that will define their image,” Jaishankar said.

“We’ve been very straight, that they have to make up their mind; and part of the problem is also that after 2019, the then Imran khan government took a number of steps and actually downgraded the relationship. We didn’t do it, they did it.

“So where Pakistan is concerned I think our messaging has been very clear to them,” he said, adding that Pakistan has a new government, under Shehbaz Sharif.

“We have to see that they’ve also just had their elections; we have to wait and see what do the people who have now come into power, what do they decide,” he said.