Nicosia: In a veiled attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that terrorism cannot be used as a tool to force India on the “negotiating table”.
While interacting with the Indian diaspora in Cyprus, without mentioning Pakistan, Jaishankar said, “We will never normalize it. We will never allow terrorism to force us to the negotiating table. We want good neighbourly relations with everybody. But good neighbourly relations do not mean excusing or looking away or rationalizing terrorism. That we are very clear.”
“The second, of course, is our borders. And we have challenges on our borders. The challenges on the borders intensified during the COVID period. And you all know that today the state of our relations with China is not normal. They are not normal because we will not agree to any attempt to change the Line of Actual Control (LAC) unilaterally. So on the foreign policy side, on the national security side, I can share with you a picture of firmness on diplomacy, on foreign policy, because that is something which I am,” he added.
Talking about the expectations from India, Jaishankar said that there are lots of expectations as New Delhi is seen as the one that solves problems. He further added that India is seen as a country with a strong economy and an independent nation.
India is negotiating 3 agreements with Cyprus – defence operations cooperation, migration and mobility agreement to facilitate legal movement of people of both the countries and agreement on International Solar Alliance, Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar says India obliged to take care of Indians abroad
Jaishankar said, ” Finally, let me say a few words about Indians abroad. Indians abroad in the sense of Indian citizens staying abroad, people who are part of Indian families abroad, and overseas citizens. OCS Cardholders from the time the Modi government came, I think we have been very clear that Indians abroad are a great source of strength to the motherland. I mean, there are absolutely no two ways about this. But just saying this is not enough. As we become bigger, as more Indians go out, the global workplace increases.”
“Today there are 30, 32, 33 million Indians, 3.3 crore Indians and people of Indian origin who live abroad, maybe about roughly two to one are non-citizens and citizens. Now, when such a large number of people live abroad and the benefits to India are visible to us in many ways, the big issue which arises is what is the obligation of India? And the obligation of India is really to take care of them, to take care of them to the best possible ability, especially in the most difficult situations. So you have seen in the last seven or eight years, wherever Indians have been in difficulty, the Indian government, the Indian state is there for them,” he added.
Jaishankar mentioned his 40 years of experience in the foreign ministry and said that this has been really a complete transformation of how embassies and high commissions and ministries and officials think about the Indian community.