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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Friday, emphasised that the tolerance for any kind of cross-border terrorism activity in India is very low, reiterating that if something like this happens, there will be consequences.

Speaking at the CII Annual Business Summit 2024, Mr Jaishankar stressed that Pakistan has been unrelentingly practising terrorism. “Where Pakistan is concerned, one, we have struggled continuously with the fact that they have unrelentingly practiced terrorism. This attitude in our country earlier that we put up with terrorism as an eccentricity of our neighbour, that’s the way they are, and we have to live with it…,” he said.

Mr Jaishankar added that in 2014, India made a clear decision that they were not going to tolerate any cross-border terrorism

“I think the people of this nation made a very clear decision in 2014 that they are not going to accept it. In this country, I think the tolerance for any kind of cross-border terrorism activity is very low. There will be consequences, both across the LoC and across the IB, if something like this happens. That is the message of Uri and Balakot,” the EAM said.

He said that if Pakistan stops making such actions, then the people of India will treat them like a normal neighbour.

“The ball is in their court. If they wind down this industry that they have built up in many decades, then people will treat them like a normal neighbour. If they make this their core competence, then obviously that will define their image,” EAM added.

He noted that in 2019, Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan took various steps to degrade the relations.

“So we have been very straight, that they have to make up their mind and part of the problem is also, after 2019, when Imran Khan’s government took several steps that downgrade the relationship, we didn’t do it, they did it,” he said.

Further, talking about China, Mr Jaishankar stressed that it is “more complex”.

There are at least three aspects to it, he added. One, fundamental aspect is that the peace and tranquillity in the border area is disturbed, he noted.

“Would you do business with somebody who had just barged into your drawing room and is trying to make a mess of your house? There is a common sense proposition here,” he said.

Mr Jaishankar said that if the country has gone back on the written agreement and is doing something on India’s borders, we can’t say that the business will continue as normal and other things won’t.

However, he added, “This doesn’t by the way mean that business stops…so we use the word, we cannot “ignore”. Businesses in this country have not ignored China businesses and are buying from China. We need to define the problem.”

Highlighting the second issue, EAM said that it is the ” trade imbalance issue”.

“We have a problem with the business community of India which is that businesses still is making choices based really on price point. I understand the compulsion of business but in the long run, we will have to see how we encourage businesses to do much more domestic sourcing and for that, we need to see much more domestic production,” he said.

Third issue, Mr Jaishankar said that many countries today have a national security filter. A national security filter doesn’t mean nothing comes, but it means in a business proposition, we have to evaluate certain national security sensitivity that might be there.

“Where China is concerned, we will still encourage people in this country to manufacture in India, source in India, procure from India, wherever possible, try to think long term…but we have not completely prohibited working with China,” he said.

But, he added, “We would much rather like you to work with Indian companies if an Indian option is available to you…”