India’s response to terrorism cannot have rules as terrorists don’t play by them, says S Jaishankar

Since terrorists do not play by rules, there cannot be any rules in India’s response to them, said Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Friday, reported PTI.

Speaking at an event in Pune, Jaishankar said India was committed to responding to any act of terrorism perpetrated from across the borders.

“They [the terrorists] should not feel that since they are across the border, no one can touch them,” said the minister.

The remarks came days after The Guardian reported that the Indian government allegedly assassinated at least 20 persons in Pakistan since 2020 as part of a new strategy to eliminate terrorists living on foreign soil.

The British daily had claimed in its report to have seen documentation allegedly tying India’s Research and Analysis Wing to the killings of Indian dissidents in Pakistan, which are said to have been orchestrated by sleeper cells based in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistani officials have accused these cells of paying millions of rupees to local criminals or poor Pakistanis to carry out the assassinations.

The Ministry of External Affairs denied the allegations to The Guardian, reiterating an earlier statement against Pakistan’s allegations and terming them as “false and malicious anti-India propaganda”.

Speaking on Friday, Jaishankar said that India’s foreign policy has undergone a change since 2014.

He also claimed that Pakistan has been indulging in terrorism since 1947.

“We have to be very clear in our minds about terrorism; under no circumstances is terrorism acceptable from any neighbour or from anyone who uses terrorism to force you to sit at the negotiating table,” said Jaishankar. “This should never be accepted.”

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that Indian forces were eliminating terrorists in their home turf under a strong Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre.

Prior to that, Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh said in an interview with News18 on April 5 that the Indian government would not hesitate to carry out extra-territorial killings of terrorists “who flee to Pakistan”.

“If any terrorist tries to disturb the peace in Bharat, or tries to carry out terror activities in Bharat, we will respond fittingly,” Singh said. “If any terrorist flees to Pakistan, we will enter their house and kill them.”

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