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Relations with China not advanced due to border issue, Pakistan has to give up cross-border terror: EAM

IndiaRelations with China not advanced due to border issue, Pakistan has to give up cross-border terror: EAM

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that India’s relations with major powers have undergone significant development

During a press conference, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that India’s relations with major powers have undergone significant development, except in the case of China due to ongoing border tensions. Regarding Pakistan, he emphasized that Islamabad is aware that it must renounce cross-border terrorism to foster improved ties with India.

Jaishankar addressed various inquiries by highlighting the progress made in India’s relationships with major powers such as the United States, Russia, the European Union, Germany, Japan, and Gulf countries.

He attributed these advancements to the diligent efforts of the Modi government, the implementation of effective policies, and Prime Minister Modi’s leadership in diplomatic endeavors. Their approach focused on seeking areas of agreement, collaboration, and expansion of technological and economic cooperation, as well as establishing security partnerships, resulting in significant success.

However, China stood as an exception to this positive trend. Jaishankar noted that the reasons behind this exception lie solely with China. He pointed out that China consciously chose to break agreements and deploy forces to border areas in 2020.

It has been made abundantly clear to China that unless there is peace and tranquility in the border regions, the bilateral relationship cannot progress. This obstacle impedes the advancement of the India-China relationship.

Regarding India’s Neighbourhood First policy and the positions of Pakistan and China within that framework, Jaishankar acknowledged that India’s relations with its neighboring countries have experienced both progress and challenges.

Political relations with countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar have been strong, with significant developments such as the establishment of a regional economy and enhanced cross-border transportation of resources like petroleum and electricity. Jaishankar expressed satisfaction with the progress made in these areas.

Concerning Pakistan, he highlighted that challenges persist due to cross-border terrorism, which has been a longstanding issue. India is unwilling to tolerate such acts. He emphasized that India is not prepared to move forward with Pakistan while disregarding cross-border terrorism.

If Pakistan desires to improve relations, it is well aware of the necessary steps it needs to take, and the international community recognizes this as well.

Regarding China, Jaishankar emphasized the importance of maintaining good relations with India’s neighboring country, given its status as the largest economy. However, he stressed that constructive relations can only exist when there is peace and tranquility along the border and both sides adhere to agreements.

He mentioned that ongoing discussions between India and China, at various levels, aim to resolve the border issue. Communication channels have remained open, even after the incident in Galwan Valley. Jaishankar has personally engaged with Chinese counterparts, including Foreign Minister Qin Gang and the Deputy Chinese FM, to address the border situation.

Jaishankar expressed the belief that it is in both countries’ interests to find a way to disengage and resolve the present impasse. The impact on the bilateral relationship is undeniable, and normalization cannot be expected while the border situation remains unresolved.

Existing mechanisms, such as the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) and meetings between senior military commanders, continue to operate, underscoring the detailed and ground-level nature of the disengagement process.

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