New Delhi, “We will see when that happens…..” – remarked External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar when asked how would he would interact or give any message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi when they would probably meet on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in the United States later this month.
The Minister said with a very brief pause – “We were together; together meaning at the same place when Commonwealth Foreign Ministers met in London. These are international events”. However, he hastened to add in the same breadth that the onus to uphold the credibility and sanctity of the SAARC as a regional group lies with Pakistan.
“SAARC is a body for regional cooperation, my message on SAARC will be what you require for regional cooperation. You need trade, you need connectivity…If you are to talk about the future of SAARC, which country is today promoting SAARC and which country is today impeding SAARC,” he said in a rather elaborate answer.
Dr Jaishankar said – “That’s an issue all SAARC nations need to reflect upon and I am pretty confident every other SAARC nation knows what the answer is”. To a question, the Minister asserted that Article 370 is not a bilateral issue but strictly an internal issue of India. Dr Jaishankar said with regards talks with Pakistan, “what should come on the table…it is the issue of terrorism”. That is the ‘root cause’ and thus there has to be a recognition on this, he said.