PoK, Politics & Ukraine War: EAM Jaishankar Speaks To Times Now | EXCLUSIVE

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, in an exclusive interview with Times Now, discussed a range of issues including Ukraine war, Gaza bombardment, PoK unrest and the China hurdle.
EAM Jaishankar spoke exclusively to Times Now amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections

EAM Jaishankar spoke exclusively to Times Now amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections

New Delhi: This Public Manch interaction of External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, comes just 2 weeks before the Lok Sabha results. Navika Kumar, Group Editor-In-Chief of Times Now and Times Now Navbharat, asked questions on the biggest challenges and victories of India in diplomacy - from Ukraine war to Gaza bombardment, PoK unrest and the China hurdle. This is the first time the Minister has categorically stated two times India managed to pause the war in Ukraine to rescue Indians stranded there. When asked about his greatest diplomatic challenge, Dr Jaishankar detailed the way India managed to get the West and Russia together at the G-20 summit in Delhi. He also spoke about the end of Western supremacy and slammed the way western media gave oxygen to a certain ecosystem in India to undermine the achievement of India.

STEERING 'VISHWAGURU' BHARAT

"In the last 10 years, as far as India's image and standing in the world is concerned, we have touched new heights. There are many reasons, not just one. One reason is every nation is known by the image of its leader. We are lucky that Modi has been very active in speaking about the India story across the world, and that has benefitted us a lot."

BIGGEST DIPLOMATIC CHALLENGE FOR INDIA

"I would like to tell you about G20. During G20 Ukraine was a burning topic. We used to think that we wouldn't be able to get everyone to come to a consensus. We worked for the entire year to make G20 event a success, but if we couldn't get everyone on-board, it would be a problem. There was huge gulf between the west and Russia, even China was very inclined towards Russia. So, there was a big gap and it was our responsibility to make G20 a success at any cost. Last, two days before the final meeting for G20 were very stressful. We didn't sleep for 2-3 days in a row as we were busy negotiating."

'YES, UKRAINE WAR RUKWA DIYA'

"If you ask me about stopping the war, then my answer would be yes. I am a witness of the same. I can give you the date. I can give you time. I can give you how long. I can tell you how. And I can tell you for whom. This has been done twice. Firstly it was done on March 5 in Kharkiv. Our students were on their way to the nearest safe zone. Heavy shelling was taking place. Our Prime Minister called President Putin and asked him to stop the shelling to make way for our students. Upon the Prime Minister's request, Russian Army stopped the shelling and our teachers could reach the safe zone. Another crucial incident took place on March 8. A 3 way fight was going on between Ukraine, Russia and local militia. Our students wanted to leave that area and we tried to stop the conflict. But, our efforts couldn't see the light. Firing resumed as soon our students entered the bus. Students had to leave the bus and return to their hostel. So, we went to the Prime Minister and told him to boost the morale of the students. We suggested that people from Delhi should go there and speak to the students. Two of our senior officers were sent to that region. We wanted to stop the conflict and make way for our students. When we explained to PM Modi, he spoke to President Putin and President Zelenskyy and came to an arrangement with the local militia and stopped the firing. We made a sanitised pathway and our students left."

'ABDULLAH'S CARE MORE ABOUT PAK'

'That family has so much sympathy for Pakistan. They care about Pakistan so much. The entire world knows the strength of India. I am saying that the entire nation is interested in PoK. Look at Pakistan's condition now. They are struggling. But these leaders are going backwards."

HOW WESTERN SUPREMACY HAS ENDED

"Since the formation of the Modi government, the Western media has been very critical of it. They questioned our COVID handling, economic handling and pharmaceutical industry. I am not saying we are always right, but the Western media has always tried to set a narrative and give an opposing viewpoint. They questioned our methods, our election process and the weather during elections. West has this old habit of commenting on growing countries. Why do they have such habits? These countries used to dominate the global political fray. Times have changed, but they did not."
"I am referring to the entire Western media. We have good relations with America and the UN. It's not about good relations. I am not saying that all these nations or institutions are setting narratives, but such feelings exist."

HOW PM MODI CONVINCED HIM TO JOIN POLITICS

"PM called me for a meeting. We had a normal conversation like the one I am having with you. He (PM) had the idea, not me. PM Modi is very considerate. He spoke to me, asked me to think about it, and then give him an answer."
Navika Kumar: You worked with PM Modi as the Foreign Secretary. How much time did it take for you to reply to him?
S Jaishankar: This happened a few days before the cabinet swearing-in. I did not get much time to make the decision-maybe a few days.
Navika Kumar: 24 to 48 hours?
EAM Jaishankar: Something like that

ON 'GYAN' FROM THE WEST

"We received many foreign lectures about not resisting. Those protests went on for almost a year. When such incidents took place at U.S. universities, they handled them in a very different way. They suggested something different. They did what they had to and the opposite of what they had asked us to do."
"We said that in a democracy, people have rights and responsibilities as well; there is a good balance between them. So, it is the duty of one democracy to understand the situation of the other democracy, and this is what we told them."

WILL PoK JOIN 'AKHAND BHARAT'?

"I have observed that in the last few weeks, interest for PoK is on the rise in India. Now, Navika ji if you can remember, ten years ago or even five years ago no one would talk about PoK so why are they talking about it now? They are talking about it now because the after the abrogation of article 370 there has been immense change in the Kashmir valley and you can see the impact of it in PoK as well. The people there are thinking if people across the border are flourishing than why can't we, why are we suffering the atrocities. So they are thinking about all this."
"What I think is the same as the decision taken in the Parliament 30 years ago, that PoK was, is and will be a a part of India. I believe that whatever our aspirations are will be fulfilled soon."

ON BUILD MANUFACTURING TO COUNTER CHINA

"We have to facilitate manufacturing in the country and this is the policy of Modi. We have built different infrastructure and introduced production linked incentive, bank credit and helped small-medium industries as well. Till be build substantial manufacturing units in India out dependence on China will not be impacted. So solution for China is economic growth at home and manufacturing at home."

ON CHABAHAR PORT

"This port has been running since years and no sanctions have been levied on it, you can check the records. It is evident that U.S is also benefiting from Chabahar port and the region as well so we will discuss this with U.S. Practically nothing major is happening because of this agreement in principle. We will surely invest in this, other than this nothing more is happening in principle."
End of Article
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