India Friday hit out at Pakistan again as it said that the concept of state actors and non-state actors is a “false dichotomy” and a state cannot escape responsibility by hiding behind it.
At a conference organised by US-based East West Centre, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, “There is a connect between state actors and non-state actors which is why we use the word ‘sponsored’. So, the state cannot escape responsibility by saying it is non-state. This is not just vis-a-vis India. It was the situation even after 9/11.”
He underlined that the concept of state and non-state actors is a “false dichotomy”. “We have always maintained the view that acting against some groups is not a justification for giving a free pass, leave alone active support, to other groups. So, you can’t have a segmented, differentiated fight against terrorism,” he said.
Jaishankar also pointed out that there is a sharper awareness today of the fact that terrorism is no longer a national issue. “That the idea that ‘oh, this is India’s problem, we are okay’… I think that era today is behind us. People know that terrorist organisations and individuals are very well connected, and what is India’s problem today has been somebody else’s problem too,” he said.
On China, he said that “displaying mutual sensitivity to each other’s concerns is very necessary”. “There is an expectation in India that a partner like China would be appreciative of India’s interests, especially when they are not in conflict with those of China. Combating terrorism is one such area and sanctioning of well-known terrorist leaders and organisations should not emerge as an issue of difference,” he said, in an oblique reference to Beijing’s relationship with Pakistan.