'Epicentre of Terrorism': S Jaishankar Questions West's Silence on Pakistan

"Because you are a diplomat, doesn't mean you are untruthful. I could use much harsher words than epicentre."

2 min read

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday, 2 January, reiterated his stand on Pakistan, calling it the "epicentre of terrorism" again, while describing its role in promoting cross-border terrorism, in an interview with Austria's ZIB2 podcast.

"Because you are a diplomat, doesn't mean you are untruthful. I could use much harsher words than epicentre," the minister said when questioned about his stand on Pakistan by the anchor on the show.

S Jaishankar was on his two-nation visit to Cyprus and Austria from 29 December 2022 to 3 January 2023. His response, justifying calling Pakistan the 'epicentre of terrorism', on the show during his visit, was widely shared on social media.


'Why Don't I Hear Sharp European Condemnation?'

While reminding the world about Pakistan's involvement in the:

  • 2001 terror attack on the Indian Parliament, in which nine people were killed and 18 were injured, and

  • 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, in which more than 160 people were killed and over 300 were injured,

S Jaishankar questioned European nations for not condemning "terrorism practices going on for decades" in Pakistan.

"...this is a country that attacked the Parliament of India some years ago, which has attacked the city of Mumbai, which went after hotels and foreign tourists, which every day sends terrorists across the border."
S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

When the anchor of the show said that Pakistan, as a country, does not spread terrorism, Jaishankar said, "If you control your sovereign space, which I believe they do, if terrorist camps operate in broad daylight in cities, with recruitment and financing, can you really tell me that the Pakistani State does not know what's going on? Especially if they are being trained in military-level combat tactics."

"When we speak about judgements and principles, why don't I hear sharp European condemnation of these practices that are going on for multiple decades?"
S Jaishankar

'World Often Looks Away Because it is Happening to Another Country'

When asked on the show if the world needs to be concerned about a potential war between India and Pakistan in the future, the external affairs minister said, "I think the world needs to be concerned about terrorism. Because if you pose it the way you do, that's like giving a free pass to terrorism, saying, 'let's be worried about the next consequences.' I am worried about terrorism."

"I think the world needs to be concerned that there is terrorism going on and the world often looks away. The world often feels like, 'it's not my problem, because it's happening to some other country.' I think the world needs to be concerned about how sincerely and strongly it takes up the challenge of terrorism."
S Jaishankar

Earlier, during his joint press briefing with his Austrian counterpart, Jaishankar, without naming any country, had said, "...since the epicentre (of terrorism) is so close to India, our experiences and insights are naturally valuable to others."

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Topics:  Pakistan   S Jaishankar   Terrorism 

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