Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Friday accused Pakistan of hampering trade and connectivity between India and Afghanistan, which is a troubling issue as far as foreign policy is concerned.
“They have blocked connectivity between India and Afghanistan... I think until we address that problem. This challenge of how do you have a normal relationship with this very unique neighbor is a very troubling issue for our foreign policy,” Jaishankar said during an online event.
He said that state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan makes it very difficult for countries to maintain “normal relations” with them.
“Terrorism from Pakistan continues and remains publically acknowledged by their government as a policy they are justifying. It makes it very hard to conduct normal relations with them. They don’t do normal trade with India. We don’t have a normal visa relationship,” he said.
Commenting on the impending tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control near eastern Ladakh, the foreign minister said that New Delhi has had major issues with Beijing as far as politics and trade are concerned.
“As two neighbouring countries who have built a relationship painstakingly, there were political issues of difference, issues on their relationship with Pakistan, major trade issues – a whole set of issues. We have been engaging and talking to them over many years,” he said.
Furthermore, Jaishankar said that he is surprised why after all these years of dialogue there is a sudden change in status quo.
“The point which we are grappling with is, if you have a very major neighbour with which you have issues, you have been talking all along. Why this change to deal with the emerging situation that rises thereby?” the EAM claimed.