With an apparent reference to Pakistan, S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister, on Thursday stated that no nation can overcome its issues and become affluent if its “basic industry” is terrorism.
In response to a question regarding whether India will assist its troubled western neighbour, Jaishankar stated that terrorism is the fundamental issue affecting the India-Pakistan relationship and that “we cannot be in denial of the fundamental problems.”
The minister was addressing the Asia Economic Dialogue, hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs. He stated, “No country is ever going to come out of a difficult situation and become a prosperous power if its basic industry is terrorism.”
“…if I were to look at any big decision I am making, I will also look at what is the public sentiment. I would have a pulse what do my people feel about it. And I think you know the answer,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar stated that India’s current image portrays a nation that is willing to go to any lengths to safeguard its national security.
He stated that while every nation faces challenges, none are as severe as those related to national security. He also stated that India is a nation that will neither be expelled nor permit its fundamental principles to be violated. The minister was speaking at Symbiosis International University’s
“Festival of Thinkers” event.
“In the last few years, we have been tested for a long time on our western border. I think things are a little different now and everyone will agree. Few things had happened in 2016 and 2019 and we have been tested and we are being tested on our northern borders,” he said.
“We have today the image of the country which is willing to do what it takes to defend its national security. It (India) is a very forbearing country, a patient country, it is not a country that goes around picking fights with other people, but it is a country that will not be pushed out. This is a country that will not allow its basic bottom lines to be crossed,” he said.
“Since it is a polarised world, different countries will try to prejudice you. They will urge you. Sometimes they use pretty strong words. Now how do you stand up for your interests and sometimes the interests of others who may not have the same ability and strengths that you do. We are seeing that today,” he added.
He said, referring to the conflict in Ukraine, that the pressures that came with the conflict also tested our sense of independence and confidence.
“We are seen as independent and also seen as not just standing up for our rights, which we should and we are (doing it), but we are also becoming the voice of the global south. Last month, we had a consultation process ahead of the G20. It was the first time it happened. We as the president of the G20, at the level of Prime Minister, myself, Finance Minister, Trade Minister and Environment Minister, had a consultation with 125 countries of the global south.
“We want to go into G20 saying that there is a large part of the world which is not sitting on that table but they have a legitimate interest and somebody needs to speak up for them. India today is perceived by the rest of the G20 not only as the voice of independence and self-confidence but also as the voice of the global south,” Jaishankar said.