‘We are more nationalistic, but…’: Indian External Affairs Minister, Jaishankar at World Economic Forum

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OCTOBER 4, 2019

NEW DELHI – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday underlined the fact that there was no contradiction in being nationalistic and engaging with the world at the same time. He stressed that India was an outlier in that sense.

“India is an exception as we are more nationalistic, but at the same time we don’t see a tension between being nationalistic and being international, in the sense of engaging more with the world, so nationalism is not a negative sentiment,” S Jaishankar said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Delhi.

Speaking about the regional cooperation, the minister said it has been a good story, barring one country in the neighborhood.

“The entire neighborhood, minus one, has been a fairly good story for regional cooperation,” said Jaishankar.

Asked if he would call the situation with the “minus one” a permanent impasse, the minister refused to buy the argument. “I wouldn’t. Then I would be admitting something is not possible that diplomacy has limits and I cannot ever accept that,” said the former top diplomat.

He added he hopes “even the minus one” will come around.

“With everybody else, trade is on the increase, business is on the increase and at some stage it would have an impact,” said Jaishankar.

The minister highlighted that if one were to travel around the world, south Asia, Indian subcontinent is among the least regionalised economies.

Jaishankar said that the intent was visible from the very start as shown by PM Modi when he invited the neighboring leaders during his first swearing in ceremony in 2014. “We have to convince our neighbors that Indian economy is a lifting tide for all of them,” said the minister.

On the issue of Kashmir, the minister said he spoke about it extensively when he was in the US and explained to the people there how Article 370, which provided for Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was only a temporary provision. He also stressed how the provisions of the article, now scrapped, were misaligned with the larger scheme of things envisaged for the country.


Courtesy/Source: Hindustan Times

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