DMK was a party to the discussions on Katchatheevu issue: Jaishankar

The Union Minister maintains PoK is an integral part of India, says this is the national position, and not just the BJP’s stance

April 04, 2024 09:55 pm | Updated April 05, 2024 06:53 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar accused DMK of adopting double standards on the Katchatheevu island issue. 

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar accused DMK of adopting double standards on the Katchatheevu island issue.  | Photo Credit: ANI

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar accused the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of adopting double standards on the Katchatheevu island issue.

Claiming the ruling party in Tamil Nadu “was very much a party” to the negotiations between the then Central government and Sri Lanka, he alleged the DMK had varying positions on the issue during discussions in the Parliament and outside.

ALSO READ | Sri Lankan media hit out at Modi’s Katchatheevu remarks

“I think what is most important is that the people of Tamil Nadu should know the truth. When the Central government was negotiating the issue, they were actually consulting the then State government, which was led by the DMK, but that was kept a secret. So, DMK was very much a party to these negotiations, very much a party to this outcome,” he said, while addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

The politics of Katchatheevu

Mr. Jaishankar also said the Central government would never accept that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is not an integral part of India. This, he said, is not just the BJP’s position, but the national position.

“The Parliament has taken taken a united stand, and every political party of this country supported that stand. The central issue where Pakistan is concerned has been related to terrorism. We are a party and government which have been very clear that we will not ignore terrorism. When terrorism happens, we will deal with it. That has been our record,” he pointed out.

While admitting India’s relationships with Pakistan and China were “abnormal”, the Union Minister maintained the country ties with other neighbouring countries have improved under the Narendra Modi government. “We have a very competitive, challenging relationship with China. But, this is a country [India] which is today confident and capable of advancing and defending its interests,” he said.

Without making any direct references, he said: “There may be forces in the neighbourhood and forces behind forces who create problems, and there may be people in India who like to play out this problem. But, India’s relationship with neighbouring countries except Pakistan and China has been much better than it has been for a long time,” Mr. Jaishankar added.

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