Indian NSA Says Delhi 'Won't Beg For Peace' With Pakistan - Report
While India treats Pakistan's alleged backing of terrorist groups as its core concern, Islamabad maintains that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is the "core" dispute between the two nations. The ties between the two neighbours have been particularly strained since India decided to scrap the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
During an interview with news agency ANI, India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said that New Delhi “won’t beg for peace” when dealing with its western neighbor Pakistan, but urged Islamabad to respect the “core interests” of the Indian government.
“I will tell you one thing. We can’t have peace and war at the choice of our adversary. If we have to protect our interests, we will have to decide when, with whom and on what terms we could have peace,” Doval said in an interview with ANI news agency on Tuesday.
Stating that “when our core interests are involved, there is no question of peace at any cost” Doval, however, added that ideally India would like to have “very good relations” with all its neighbors, including Pakistan.
“But certainly, the tolerance threshold for terrorism is very low. We would certainly not like our citizens to be sitting ducks,” Doval said, referring to New Delhi’s concern about Islamabad allegedly backing terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Doval also lauded Prime Minister Modi’s policy of not holding any dialogue with Pakistan till it stops supporting terrorist “proxies” against India. Pakistan rejects the claim that it is supporting cross-border terrorist groups against New Delhi.
“In the last eight years (since Modi came to power in 2014), this country hasn’t seen any terrorist attacks except in Jammu and Kashmir, where there has been a proxy war (waged by Pakistan),” the National Security Advisor said.
“Between 2005 and 2014, we had [terrorist attacks in] Mumbai, Pune, Kanpur, Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad,” Doval recalled.
“If we were not firm, if we weren’t decisive and if we didn’t have the clarity…” he remarked.
During his interview, Doval also backed the federal government’s decision in 2019 to scrap the semi-autonomous status
of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and its bifurcation into two federal territories—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
“Post-2019, the mood and temper of the people of Kashmir has totally changed. People are no more in favor of Pakistan and terrorism,” he stated.
Both the nuclear-armed neighbors control parts of Jammu and Kashmir but claim the entire region.
Pakistan rejects India’s 2019 step of altering the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad has since maintained that it won’t hold formal talks with New Delhi until the decision on Jammu and Kashmir is rolled back.
“The onus remains on India to take the necessary steps to create an enabling environment conducive for meaningful and result-oriented dialogue,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement
“The Foreign Minister (Bilawal Bhutto Zardari) clearly articulated this perspective, referring to India’s illegal and unilateral actions in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) since August 5, 2019, describing them as an assault on the rights of the Kashmiri people, as well as rising Islamophobia in India, that created an environment unconducive for meaningful engagement,” the Pakistani statement added.