External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that India is getting to know who its friends really are, as he responded to questions on the criticism from the UN Human Rights chief and Iran over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the recent communal violence in Delhi.
Asked if India was losing its friends, Jaishankar said, “Maybe we are getting to know who our friends really are.”
Speaking at the ET Global Business Summit, he said: “We have tried to reduce the number of stateless people through this legislation. That should be appreciated… We have done it in a way that we do not create a bigger problem for ourselves.”
“Everybody, when they look at citizenship, has a context and has a criterion. Show me a country in the world which says everybody in the world is welcome. Nobody does that. Look at America. Look at the Europeans. I can give you (the) example of every European country. There is some social criterion,” he said.
Asked about the UNHRC chief not agreeing with India on the Kashmir issue, Jaishankar said: “UNHRC director has been wrong before. How carefully they (UNHRC) skirt around the cross-border terrorism problem, as if it has nothing to do with (the) country next door. Please understand where they are coming from; look at UNHRC’s record how they handled the issue earlier.”
The minister said technology has always been the driver of global politics, and never more so than now.
Alluding to India’s withdrawal from RCEP negotiations, he said trade outcomes must be primarily justified by trade calculations, not by political correctness.
“In a world that is more narrowly economic, trade negotiations have acquired a higher profile in international affairs. Much of that arises from the behaviour of America, the strategy of China, the approach of Japan and the focus of Europe. As a nation that is still to integrate itself into global supply chains, develop its infrastructure and scale up its capabilities, these are not easy times,” he said, adding that in a globalised world, no economy can be an island.
“But the exercise of engagement — and its terms — must be very objectively assessed. Trade outcomes must be primarily justified by trade calculations, not by political correctness. Their gains must be visible, probable and practical; not just hypothetical scenarios,” he said.
“The rise of India is underway. And it is based, amongst others, on the rise of Indian businesses. Many of them operate abroad and as per global norms, expect the support of their government. They are entitled to it and our obligation is to provide it. Their quest to expand market share and penetrate new markets is entirely understandable. Here too, they deserve full backing and, I can assure you, will get it,” he said.
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