’India does not always align with West, deal with it’: EAM Jaishankar on Delhi’s stance on Ukraine war

  • There isn't a perfect overlap. I have to live with it as they have to live with it (in reference to Pakistan), Said Jaishankar

Livemint
First Published26 Nov 2022
External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar addressing an interactive session with the Business Community, in Imphal on Saturday
External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar addressing an interactive session with the Business Community, in Imphal on Saturday(ANI)

‘India does not always align with the West’ External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at a conclave on Saturday. Jaishankar emphasised that India does not always agree with the West and has their own independent foreign policy. 

"There isn't a perfect overlap. I have to live with it as they have to live with it (in reference to Pakistan). My point in recent months is guys, I have lived with a lot of things that you have said and done that I don't like. Now some times you will have to hear it from me too. Live with it," Jaishankar said at the Times Now conclave.

Notably, India strongly called for the need to end the war through diplomacy and reiterated its stand on the conflict at the 77th UN Assembly.

Jaishankar said the West 'must live with India's stance' on Ukraine and said that India is in favour of peace regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. This he said in context with severe criticism India faced by the West over the purchase of discounted crude oil from Russia and not condemning Moscow's actions in Ukraine

Speaking about the difference of opinion, Jaishankar said that India has lived with differences with the West on issues related to Pakistan.

"Historically, we have had differences with western countries. The differences may have increased or decreased but the differences have never gone away. For whatever reason, different western countries have perceived a utility for Pakistan in their larger calculations. And therefore often, (they) practice policies and do actions which are against our interest, obviously with which are deeply concerned," said Jaishankar.

Incidentally, analysts had expressed their disbelief over the US' announcement of military aid worth USD 450 million to Pakistan under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme for supplying the F-16 upgrade package.

Another interesting thing to note is how the F-16 fighter jets will help Pakistan to tackle domestic terrorists. It raises suspicions about Pakistan's intentions. Is it even true that domestic terrorist activities in Pakistan require such sort of advanced weaponry?

All these questions are only drawing flak because it is actually hard to believe that the F-16s are intended to tackle terrorists. Earlier in 2018, former US President Donald Trump suspended military aid stating that Islamabad had taken no action against terror groups.

Trump also accused Pakistan of 'lies and deceit' when it came to the military aid it had received from the US. In November 2018, Trump reiterated that the USD 1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan would remain suspended until Islamabad acts against militant safe havens, reported Europe Asia Foundation.

However, the dynamics are changing in the post-Trump era. It is crucial to know how Pakistan will use the aid provided by the US. However, one thing to note is that even with this close relationship between the US and Pakistan, Islamabad has neither learned the meaning of democracy nor development from the US.

"I have to build a relationship with major western countries or broadly with the West, recognizing that this is an issue that we don't agree with. It will be my endeavour to try to persuade them to see it the way I do," said Jaishankar.

Pakistan's foreign policy strategy has relied on playing ball with the great powers for its own benefit. Pakistan has been juggling its partnerships with the major powers. From strong ties with the US, to its strategic alliance with China and outreach to Russia, Pakistan has left no stone unturned in taking leverage of its geostrategic location.

(With inputs from ANI)

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