New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said the government is continuing the restrictions in Kashmir to ensure there is no loss of life in the Valley.
“Many of the restrictions that have been imposed are being done to ensure that there is no loss of life. We have seen how social media and the internet have been used to radicalise people,” Jaishankar said Tuesday while addressing a gathering at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think-tank.
Jaishankar said the intent behind the lockdown, which is nearing almost two months now, is “really to persevere and make sure there are enough changes on the ground” so that people’s mindset changes. That is the objective of the government, he added.
The foreign minister said there would be reactions once the restrictions are lifted. “But if we do let the development process going then Pakistan’s plans will come to naught,” he added.
The restrictions on communication and movement of vehicles in the Valley were imposed a day before the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370, which granted special powers to Jammu and Kashmir, on 5 August.
On Russian S-400 missile system
On the issue of New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow, the minister said he was “reasonably convinced” with the powers of his persuasion in convincing the Donald Trump administration on why India is buying the S-400 Triumf missile system. The deal is progressing as expected, he asserted.
Jaishankar also said he has been able to bring home the point with America that for India “affordability and predictability” are key to addressing the country’s growing energy demands.
“This will be a world of contradictions. You have to walk the space dexterously…We are a big energy-importing country, so for us affordability and predictability is important. So we need solutions which will work for us,” he said.
On Iran, he said: “We have a strong political and cultural relations with Iran. We operate a port in that country, which services Afghanistan.”
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