Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said ‘Brand Pakistan’ identifies with global terror as every major terrorist incident in the world has a ‘Pakistani footprint’ around it.
Jaitley, leading the Indian delegation to the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington, also said, Pakistan has a ‘very low credibility’ when it comes to matters involving terrorism.
He added that the Saarc snub by many nations shows Pakistan is getting isolated in the region.
“The fact that almost everybody said that we won’t attend the Saarc Summit speaks of the isolation in the region. Ultimately, if you use terrorism as an instrument of state policy, and every terrorist incident - a major terrorist incident anywhere in the world, has Pakistani footprint around it, then ‘Brand Pakistan’ really identifies itself with global terror.
“Therefore, all contrarian noises that they make like Pakistan is a victim et cetera, clearly has established that the world is not willing to listen to them because of a very low credibility and a low track record as far as these matters are concerned,” he told a news channel.
Responding to a question on the geopolitical risk of India’s surgical strikes, he said, “I don’t think we should overstate the problem”.
“Nuclear blackmail in the world is Pakistan’s strategy. It’s never been an Indian strategy.
“If you look at the economic impact of the surgical strikes, within minutes of the strikes, you had an upheaval in the currency market. Defence will always remain a top priority as far as expenditure is concerned because national security and sovereignty are paramount as far as India is concerned,” Jaitley said.
He also termed the surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) as ‘army strategy’ and ‘pre-emptive strike against terrorism’. He said all opposition leaders were briefed and consensus was built because India was ‘entitled to strategise’ following the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks.
He had earlier said that any economic impact arising from recent tensions with Pakistan will be “extremely marginal”.