“I am not running a foreign policy for the demands of other people. (My foreign policy) is for what is in my country’s and my people’s interest. I believe that India’s interests are well served. (We) advocate sovereignty and want the conflict to end. And I think that is the right thing to do. Had I done what the US said, I would have been of no use to anyone including myself,” Jaishankar told Rahul Shivshankar, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now at the Times Now Summit 2022.
Sometimes, I have lived with things that you (West) did. Now, Live with it (India’s foreign policy),” he said, while underlining that India’s stance is a more ‘serious view’ of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Underlining that the world is a tough place, Jaishankar said that ‘it cannot be an easy place for India’.
Admitting the fact that India has a neighbour which is a safe haven for terrorism, Jaishankar said that in international relations, it is impossible for two countries to have identical views on issues. He was referring to the China‘s intransigence over designating 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a Pakistan-based terrorist, as a ‘global terrorist’ at UNSC.
Indirectly pulling up the previous governments that resulted in the debacle of 1962 with China, Jaishankar said that the places where the Chinese villages are now coming up along the LAC, are in ‘areas we lost in 1962’. “When Rajiv Gandhi went to visit China, India and China were economies of the same size…,” he noted. He emphasised that India would need the right kind of leadership in order to navigate the next half a decade that will be, according to him, turbulent.
The minister shared that he believes that the next 5 years would be stormy and to navigate such choppy waters, India would need the right kind of leadership.
Addressing how such pressing times should be navigated by India’s leadership, Jaishankar said, “(we need to do so) by studying the economy, doing as strongly as we can, executing reforms we can do that should have been done a long time ago. We have to see that India’s rise continues amid the turbulence.” Jaishankar said that since he deals a lot with the way foreign nations see India he can share that they do have a better perspective on India’s achievements than perhaps those in India do.