Amid a debate over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments on Balochistan in his I-Day address, External Affairs Ministry on Thursday indicated that the remarks did not constitute a policy shift as being construed.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Prime Minister had been thanked by people of Balochistan and Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, for flagging their problems at an all-party meeting here last week and, moved by their messages, he talked about them in his speech from the Red Fort.
At the same time, he said, Modi also gave "certain instructions" on the next course of action but refused to divulge details or how those instructions will be implemented. "I cannot at this stage share with you. However, MEA will do what it has to because after all people of PaK are also our people," he said.
On Modi's mention of Balochistan he said, "As to whether this constitutes a policy shift, let me say that Government of India has made statements about the situation in Balochistan in the past as well. My own predecessor had commented on this issue. The only difference this time was that the various messages the Prime Minister had received had sufficiently moved him to share it with the people of India."
When asked about certain Baloch groups seeking recognition from India, the MEA spokesperson said: "Don't jump the gun".