New Delhi: The scrapping of Article 370 was a long-awaited step in the right direction to restore calm and happiness in Kashmir. It’s only natural that Pakistan will paint apocalyptic scenario because that has been its gameplan for the last 70 years, foreign minister S Jaishankar said addressing a Washington audience. The foreign minister is touring the United States, meeting diplomats, other foreign ministers and think tanks etc. The Kashmir and Pakistan issue has been a recurring topic of all his addresses.

“What we’ve done, was long-awaited. In my view, it was the right thing to have been done. It should have been done many years earlier,” he said, as reported by the PTI.

The minister also asserted that the Indian security forces have exercised the highest degree of restraint in Jammu and Kashmir after August 5, as international media painted different stories.

“They (Pakistan) will paint apocalyptic scenarios because one, that is their wish and, two, that’s actually what their game plan has been for 70 years,” he said replying to a question on recent remarks by top Pakistani leadership alleging that India would raise a false flag and blame Islamabad for any terrorist attack after the recent security and communication restrictions are lifted in Kashmir.

“At the moment, given the fact that there have been such deep investments made by Pakistan in Kashmir, both in terrorism and in a kind of separatism… we don’t expect this to be uncontested,” he said.

Explaining that the issue did not begin on August 5, the foreign minister said, “I think it’s important to have a historical context to judge these remarks. This is not a conversation that began on August 5. These are their policies and their actions which began the day Kashmir acceded to India with Pakistani invaders threatening to burn down Srinagar. Please look at the history of Kashmir.”

“We have also seen a lot of alarmists rhetoric coming (from Pakistan), not just about false flag, (but also) jihad… going all the way to nuclear weapons. That kind of gives you a sense of responsibility of the people who are saying,” the minister said.

On PoK, the foreign minister said that the territory is under illegal occupation of Pakistan. “The point I was making was a very simple one. My sovereignty and my jurisdiction are laid out by my maps. My maps have been there for 70 years,” he said.
(With Agency Inputs)