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Jaishankar iterates India’s global efforts, censures neighbours for shielding terrorists

Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, on September 24, addressed the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. During his address, the Minister set the record straight on India’s position in the current world order and launched veiled attacks on China and Pakistan for the attempts to shield proclaimed terrorists. Jaishankar also enlisted India’s significant efforts in improving the situation in its neighbourhood, including the shipment of 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan and around $4 billion in financial aid to debt-ridden Sri Lanka.

Jaishankar underscores India’s five pledges 

Calling the new India a “confident” and “resurgent” society, Jaishankar highlighted India’s five pledges that will be achieved before 100 years of Independence in 2047. The Minister said that “we are resolved to make India a developed country” in the next 25 years. “For the world, that creates more capacities for global good,” he added. The second pledge that would be achieved in the next 25 years is to “liberate ourselves from the colonial mindset”. Jaishankar said that, “externally, this means we want multilateralism and more contemporary global governance.” 

“Three, our rich cultural heritage will be a source of pride and of strength. This includes care and concern for the environment so engrained in our traditional ethos,” he added. The fourth pledge is “to promote greater unity and solidarity” which “expresses a coming together on global issues such as terrorism, pandemics or the environment.” Under the fifth pledge, Jaishankar said, “we will instill the consciousness of duties and responsibilities. This applies to nations as much as it does to citizens.”

Jaishankar iterates India’s contributions to the global good

The External Affairs Minister averred that India’s conviction of seeing the world as one family led to the supply of vaccines from India to over 100 nations.

“Similarly, our evacuation operations in HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) situations always have had room for other nationals in distress,” Jaishankar further stated. “Today, that focus is on green growth, better connectivity, digital delivery and accessible health. Our solidarity is not just words; you can see them in 700 projects across the world,” the Minister said. 

He also underscored the 50,000 metric tons of wheat and multiple tranches of medicines and vaccines to Afghanistan, credits of 3.8 billion dollars to Sri Lanka for fuel, essential commodities and trade settlement and 10,000 metric tons of food aid and vaccine shipments to Myanmar.

‘We are on the side of…’

Setting the record straight on India’s stance amid the Russia-Ukraine war, Jaishankar revealed whose side India really is on. “As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there,” the Minister asserted. “We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out.”

“We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they stare at escalating costs of food, fuel and fertilisers,” he stressed.

Jaishankar attacks nations sheltering terrorists

Calling for global cooperation against terrorism, Jaishankar, without taking names, attacked China and Pakistan who have a track record of shielding terrorists. “The United Nations responds to terrorism by sanctioning its perpetrators. Those who politicise the UNSC 1267 Sanctions regime, sometimes to the extent of defending proclaimed terrorists, do so at their own peril. Believe me, they advance neither their own interests nor indeed their reputation,” Jaishankar said.

“Having borne the brunt of cross-border terrorism for decades, India firmly advocates a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach. In our view, there is no justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of motivation. And no rhetoric, however sanctimonious can ever hide blood-stained hands,” he iterated. 

‘India prepared to take greater responsibilities’

Jaishankar said that “India is prepared to take up greater responsibilities” and called for an end to the injustice faced by the Global South. “Our call is to allow serious negotiations on such a critical matter to proceed sincerely. They must not be blocked by procedural tactics. Naysayers cannot hold the IGN process hostage in perpetuity,” he added. 

“In these turbulent times, it is essential that the world listens to more voices of reason. And experiences more acts of goodwill. India is willing and able on both counts,” the External Affairs Minister concluded.

Image: Twitter/@ANI

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