Pakistan needs to shut down its “terrorism factory” and there is now international concern about it, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
He also asserted that India has not given up on SAARC, and it will keep looking for other opportunities for regional integration “since SAARC is stuck”.
Speaking on ties with China, Jaishankar said “it does not help to duck issues” and admitted that there was a need to invest more to manage the relationship better.
Jaishankar was speaking during a discussion on ‘political change and economic uncertainties’ at the Gateway Dialogue event, co-hosted by ministry of external affairs.
He also cautioned against “demonising” US President Donald Trump. “Don’t demonise Trump, analyse Trump. He represents a thought process. It’s not a momentary expression,” he said.
Trump has been facing criticism over his controversial immigration policy.
Jaishankar said western countries might not be open about Pakistan and the terrorism problem but they had concerns.
“The issue here really is whether Pakistan is willing to take fundamental steps. They need to shut down the terrorism factory,” he said.
“The thinking on Pakistan is necessarily security centric because the fact is we can live in a situation of very little threat but not in a situation of terrorism on and off, which will be the case as long as the factory keeps running,” he added. “Terrorism in the past was seen as our problem but now it’s a bigger problem.”
He said India’s multilateral engagement is not just good “for branding purposes but it also works in India’s interest”.
“We are approaching multi-polarity. Everyone is playing everybody,” the foreign secretary said.
Visualising a greater role for India in the international scene, he said time had come for the country to take a lead on the global stage, since the major countries were narrowing down.
“At a time when horizons of a lot of major countries are getting narrower...If the major (countries) are pulling back there is a space out there and it is in our interest to use that space. In my view, we should be looking at a more powered position in the international forum,” he said.