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India Aims to Resolve ‘Cross-Border Terrorism’ Issue with Pakistan: FM Jaishankar

On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar emphasized India’s desire to address the longstanding issue of cross-border terrorism with Pakistan.

This statement follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent inauguration for a third term, equalling a record, at a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president’s palace in New Delhi. The event, highlighting the government’s “neighbourhood first” policy, was attended by leaders from seven regional countries.

Jaishankar noted that India’s issues with Pakistan and China differ significantly. After beginning his second consecutive term, he remarked, “With Pakistan, we aim to resolve the long-standing issue of cross-border terrorism. Such actions are not in line with good neighbourly relations.”

On Monday, diplomatic interactions occurred between the leaders of India and Pakistan via X. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, along with his elder brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, extended their congratulations to Modi following his election victory. This marked Pakistan’s first response to the election results from India. Shehbaz initiated the exchange with a brief congratulatory message on X: “Felicitations to @narendramodi on taking oath as the Prime Minister of India,” which mirrored a similar message Modi had sent him in March. Modi responded with a simple, “Thank you @cmshehbaz for your good wishes.”

Nawaz Sharif expanded the exchange with a more detailed message expressing a desire for collective peace in South Asia. Modi, in response, reaffirmed India’s commitment to peace while underscoring a firm stance on security, particularly in light of allegations of cross-border terrorism.

In a notable diplomatic gesture, PM Shehbaz was not among the regional leaders invited to Modi’s inauguration ceremony on Sunday, underscoring the ongoing strain in India-Pakistan relations.

Regarding China, Jaishankar stated that India would focus on resolving border issues that have historically strained relations between the two countries. He said, “With China, there are still unresolved border issues, and our focus will be on finding solutions.”

India and China share a 3,800-kilometre border, much of which is poorly defined. The two nuclear-armed nations fought a war in 1962 and have been in a military standoff since July 2020, when at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in the worst clashes in fifty years.

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