In response to a question, he said, beyond a point, don’t worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir.
New Delhi: The government revoked Article 370 last month because some people were misusing it for their own ends, resulting in lack of development in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that had resulted in a sense of separatism there, external affairs minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday. Realising that this policy had not worked for the past 30 years, the government then decided to “change the landscape” to “look for answers” in a “challenging situation”, the minister said. He also said that one should not worry too much about what other countries would say about J&K and that India’s position would “prevail”.
He said, “This was a temporary provision. ... This provision had actually become dysfunctional. That it was being arbitraged by a narrow set of people for their own gains. And by doing that they were impeding development. And that lack of development was feeding a sense of separatism. And that separatism has actually been utilised by Pakistan to carry out cross-border terrorism.”
He added, “I think most people do understand that flow of logic. And if you pose to them the question that ... here’s an incoming government. ... It has two choices. Either it continues the policy of the last 30-odd years, and you know the casualties ... of all of that. So we know what didn’t work for 30 years. So choice one is that what did not work should be continued for the future. Or choice two is to try to do something very different. And try to change the landscape ... and find ... answers in what is a challenging situation.”
India had early last month bifurcated its J&K state and revoked Article 370 that had granted special status to J&K for decades. Mr Jaishankar said the decision was an “internal” matter of India.
In response to a question, he said, beyond a point, don’t worry too much about what people will say on Kashmir. There is a complete predictability about my position... At the end of the day, it is my issue. On my issue, my position has prevailed and will prevail,’ even as he referred to the Shimla Agreement of 1972. (in which it was decided that India and Pakistan would resolve issues between them bilaterally). He also said India’s position had not changed on the matter.