Sushma Swaraj rebuts Donald Trump: Paris pact India ethos

Sushma Swaraj: ‘No Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meet planned at Astana summit, Pakistan can’t take Kashmir to ICJ, speaking to China’s friends on NSG’

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: June 7, 2017 5:19 pm
sushma swaraj, narendra modi, india pakistan ties, , nawaz sharif, cross-border terrorism, kulbhushan jadav, icj, latest news, indian express news, india news, kashmir row Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Monday. Prem Nath Pandey

Rejecting US President Donald Trump’s claim that India signed the Paris climate agreement to get “billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid”, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Monday said New Delhi signed the pact “not because of greed… not because of fear” but because of its “commitment to protecting the environment”.

“What US President Trump has said is not the reality… India signed the Paris climate pact not because of pressure from any country or due to lure of money. Our signature in the pact was not because of greed, it was not because of fear. We signed it due to our commitment to protecting the environment… India will continue to be part of it irrespective of whether the US remains in it or not,” Swaraj told reporters while speaking on three years of the Modi government.

“This commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship rivers, trees and mountains. This is India’s ethos, it is our cultural heritage. If someone says we signed the pact due to lure of money and pressure from someone, it is wrong. I reject both these allegations,” she said.

On June 1, while announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris deal, Trump claimed that India had made its participation in the agreement “contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid”.

On the H1B visas, Swaraj said while nothing has changed so far in the US, there were concerns Sushma rebuts Trump on Paris agreement and New Delhi was in touch with the US administration and lawmakers. “When the Prime Minister goes to the US to meet President Trump, he will raise this issue with him,” she said.

She also sent Pakistan a tough message, blaming it for creating conditions unsuitable for any gesture by the Prime Minister or initiative by the Indian government to resume the dialogue process.

She said no meeting has so far been scheduled between Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on June 8-9. But sources said that possibility could not be completely ruled out.

Rejecting any “flip-flop” in the government policy on Pakistan, Swaraj said India is clear that “it wants to hold dialogue, resolve all issues bilaterally without mediation from any third country, organisation or anyone else. But at the same time terror and talks cannot go together.”

“I had gone to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia Conference and had begun the comprehensive bilateral dialogue process on December 9 (in 2015). But do those conditions, which existed on December 9, exist today?”

She recalled Modi’s sudden visit to Lahore on December 25 that year, which was followed by the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase, the arrest of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav — who has since been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court — and Pakistan hailing Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani, killed by security forces last year, as a martyr.

Asked about remarks of a Pakistan law officer that Islamabad will take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice which India approached in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Swaraj said: “Pakistan cannot take Kashmir issue to ICJ. The Shimla agreement and Lahore declaration are very clear on the Kashmir issue that it can only be resolved bilaterally. The two countries are bound by these bilateral agreements.”

On China’s airspace violation in Uttarakhand, she said while there used to ground-level incursions from both sides since there is no demarcated boundary, this is the first time an airspace incursion has taken place. “I cannot tell you when and where this issue will be raised, but it will be raised with the Chinese government, 101 per cent,” she said.

On China blocking India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, she said India has asked all friends of China, including Russia, to impress upon them India’s candidature, and expressed the hope that India will become a member one day. “Aaj nahin toh kal, kal nahin toh parson… hum honge kaamyab,” she said.

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    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm
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    1. N
      Jun 7, 2017 at 4:28 am
      Hello BJP, why you worry about Mr. Trump, have you BJP leaders have any idea about pollution in India, especially in Delhi and surrounding states, it worst pollution we ever seen any where. You guys stop complaining about others, you didn't do noting in past three years others than taking swatch Bharath Selfies every where.
      1. K
        Jun 7, 2017 at 2:28 am
        Sushmaji there is no use of lamenting. Mr.Trump feels money is the only incentive for people of underdeveloped countries which may or may not be true. But Mr.Bill Gates in the Time Magazine that he gives donation to help others to have clean atmosphere so that his own atmosphere is not polluted. Easiest thing is to be totally self sufficient and do not sign MOUs left and right. If we help others it should be gratis.
        1. S
          Jun 7, 2017 at 2:18 am
          Trump is right in pul out of the Paris Agreement. USA is already far ahead in environmental regulation and does not need the Paris Agreement to oversee regulation in the USA that will only cost it billions that it can invest directly into improvement of the environment. Environment in the USA is managed by cities, counties, states and federal government. The states that have environmental laws are more strict than the federal laws. USA does not need more regulation. Let the states manage it too reduce government.
          1. D
            Dilip De
            Jun 6, 2017 at 11:02 pm
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