Days when few nations set agenda are over’: Jaishankar at UN

New York: The goals that India has set for itself as it aspires to become a “great power” will make it “different” from the powers that preceded it, external affairs minister S Jaishankar told the United Nations in an address this week.

“The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over as the United Nations itself symbolizes,” declared Jaishankar, while delivering India’s national statement at the UN General Assembly.

During his remarks, Jaishankar positioned India as a power determined to act in the interest of globally under-represented nations.

From the priority accorded to the needs of struggling developing nations at the G20 to immediate disaster relief, Jaishankar asserted that India’s rise as a leading power would be a global good.

“All nations pursue their national interest. We, in India, have never seen that as being in contradiction with global good. When we aspire to be a leading power, this is not for self aggrandizement, but to take on greater responsibility and make more contributions.

The goals we have set for ourselves will make us different from all those whose rise preceded ours,” India’s top diplomat said.

Jaishankar also pointed to India’s advances in poverty reduction, its successful Chandrayaan 3 moon mission and its development of digital public infrastructure as evidence of the country’s transformation at home. However, the Indian foreign minister also had some sharp comments to make on issues of terrorism and national security.

“The power of markets should not be utilized to steer food and energy from the needy to the wealthy. Nor must we countenance that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence,” he said.

“Similarly, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercises in cherry-picking. When reality departs from rhetoric, we must have the courage to call it out,” Jaishankar added. The minister also played up India’s success in securing a joint declaration at the recently concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi. Recognition and accommodation of different perspectives, he said, was not a weakness.

Jaishankar refutes Canadian PM’s allegations

In a rebuke to the allegations levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the involvement of India in the murder case of Canada-based pro-Khalistan hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said “this is not the government of India’s policy”.

Jaishankar made the remarks during a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and said that New Delhi has already informed Ottawa that it is open to looking at specific and relevant information.

“We told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy. We told them that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it,” he said.

Circumventing a reporter’s query asking his reaction to the claim that intelligence was shared among the Five Eyes on a Khalistani leader’s killing, he said: “I’m not part of The Five Eyes, I’m certainly not part of the FBI. So I think you’re asking the wrong person”.

Image courtesy of Screen grab/X

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