External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, addressing a press conference in Goa, after SCO foreign ministers' meet, talked about his interaction with Pakistan's foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto. "As a Foreign Minister of an SCO member state, Mr Bhutto Zardari was treated accordingly. As a promoter, justifier and spokesperson of a terrorism industry which is the mainstay of Pakistan, his positions were called out and countered including at the SCO meeting itself," S. Jaishankar said.
"Victims of terrorism do not sit together with perpetrators of terrorism to discuss terrorism. Victims of terrorism defend themselves, counter acts of terrorism, they call it out, they legitimise it and that is exactly what is happening. To come here & preach these hypocritical words as though we are on the same boat," the minister added.
#LIVE | As promoter, justifier, spokesperson of a terrorism industry that is mainstay of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's position was called out, countered: EAM S Jaishankar's straight talk on terrorism. #SJaishankar #SCOMeet pic.twitter.com/exGPQRvrkx— Republic (@republic) May 5, 2023
Jaishankar also spoke about Friday's encounter operation in Rajouri. "They are committing acts of terrorism. I don't want to jump the gun on what happened today but we are all feeling equally outraged. On this matter, the terrorism matter, I would say that Pakistan's credibility is depleting faster than even its Forex reserves," said the minister.
Asked a question on Kashmir, Jaishankar said the only thing worth discussing was Pakistan's illegal occupation of a part of Kashmir i.e. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Speaking on Bhutto's trip to India, Jaishankar said that, "He came here as the Foreign Minister of an SCO Member State. That is part of multilateral diplomacy. Don't see it as anything more than that. I think that nothing from what he said or what I heard he said deserves for this to be treated more than that". It is worth noting that Jaishankar did not shake Bhutto's hand whilst welcoming him to the SCO meeting.
"While the world was engaged in facing Covid and its consequences, the menace of terrorism continues unabated. Taking our eyes of this menace would be detrimental to our security interests," Jaishankar said, during the SCO meeting, in the presence of Pakistan's foreign minister.
"We firmly believe that there can be no justification for terrorism and it must be stopped in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism. The channel of finances for terrorist activities must be seized and blocked without distinction. Members need not be reminded that combating terrorism is one of the original mandates of the SCO," he added.