External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Pakistan is furious after abrogation of article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as it has made deep investment in fuelling terrorism in the region. He said that India expected Pakistan to pull out all stops to challenge the decision. Jaishankar also described the abrogation of article 370 as a "long awaited" step and the "right thing" to do.
Jaishankar, who is in Washington DC, was responding to a question at The Heritage Foundation, a top American think-tank.
Jaishankar said that he expected Pakistan to continue what it has been doing for the past several decades in Kashmir.
In responce to Pakistan Imran Khan's accusations and threats over Kashmir, Jaishankar said that Pakistan will paint apocalyptic scenarios because that is their wish and that has been their game plan has been for 70 years. Khan in his speech at UNGA has warned of 'bloodbath' in Kashmir after current restrictions are lifted and said that India would blame Islamabad for any terrorist attack.
"What do you expect the Pakistanis to say? We expect calm and happiness to return (after current restrictions are lifted). They (Pakistan) will not. They will paint apocalyptic scenarios because one that is their wish and two that's actually what their game plan has been for 70 years," he said.
Jaishankar was responding to a question on recent remarks by top Pakistani leadership alleging that India would raise a false flag and blame Islamabad for any terrorist attack after the recent security and communication restrictions are lifted in Kashmir.
"I think it's important to have a historical context to judge these remarks. This is not a conversation that began on August 5. These are their policies and their actions which began the day Kashmir acceded to India with Pakistani invaders threatening to burn down Srinagar. Please look at the history of Kashmir," Jaishankar said.
He said that India's endeavour will be to "manage this as well as it can".
"I'm reasonably confident we should succeed out there," he said, "We have also seen a lot of alarmists rhetoric coming (from Pakistan), not just about false flag, (but also) jihad... going all the way to nuclear weapons. That kind of gives you a sense of responsibility of the people who are saying."
Responding to another question on India's action plan on getting back Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir, Jaishankar said that the territory is under illegal occupation of Pakistan.
"The point I was making was a very simple one. My sovereignty and my jurisdiction is laid out by my maps. My maps have been there for 70 years," he said.
"That's my claim. And naturally, if I have a claim, as you would have a claim, as anybody would have a claim, we would hope one day that if there are territories in your claim of which you don't have physical jurisdiction one day, you will. It's as simple as that," Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar further said the abrogation of article 370 was not a small step.
"What we've done, was long awaited. In my view, it was the right thing to have been done. It should have been done many years earlier," he said.
"At the moment, given the fact that there have been such deep investments made by Pakistan in Kashmir, both in terrorism and in a kind of separatism... we don't expect this to be uncontested," he said.
There are going to be reactions to that. India's strategy is obviously to reason with people and get them to understand why all of this is for their long-term benefit, he added.
"Clearly our intention is that they would buy into that", so that there is likely success of this new policy, he said further.
In that interim period, he asserted, India will take precautions, because history has shown the need for precautions. The government will fail in its duty if it does not take that call, Jaishankar said, adding that instructions given to the security forces have been to exercise extreme restrain.
(With PTI Inputs)