New Delhi: In a first of its kind effort to communicate with the country`s non-English speaking audience, the entire top brass of India`s foreign policy establishment today took part in an over three-hour long Hindi TV programme to explain its nuances.
During the programme, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid touched upon a number of issues including foreign investment, Jet Ettihad deal and relations with Pakistan.
Khurshid "indicated" that Finance Minister P Chidambaram may be making some big announcements during his foreign trip in the next few days, said a release by CNBC-Awaaz, which organised the programme `foreign policy classroom`.
The Minister also expressed hope that government will be able to build a consensus on foreign investment related issues, it said.
When asked about glitches in Jet Ettihad deal the Minister said, "There are no hurdles, but we need a balance. Overseas investors have big expectations of us, we can`t potentially meet all of that without following proper procedures and having a national consensus.
"Government is working towards sensitising people and building a consensus". On Pakistan, the Minister said that the new government there is giving positive signals.
"We wish to go forward but there has to be a coherence and balance in words and deeds. Indo-Pak relations and cooperation can not really go ahead without the core contentious issues being addressed."
On the question about supplying gas and power to Pakistan, he said it depends on technical feasibility and commercial viability.
Only after ensuring that, a political decision can be taken, he said. This pioneering effort to reach out and explain the various facets of Indian foreign policy discussed not only foreign policy issues but also the public services of the Ministry of External Affairs and provided a peek into the making of India`s diplomats as well the plans for the expansion of the diplomatic establishment, Ministry officials said.
Besides Khurshid, other senior diplomats, including Foreign Secretary Mathai chipped in "Hinglish" as they explained the nuances of India`s relations with USA, Russia, China and the neighbours as well as the challenges of economic diplomacy.
The innovative public diplomacy effort to explain all aspects of the working of India`s Foreign Office was in six 30-minute segments in which for the first time senior Indian diplomats candidly and publicly responded to all questions directed at them in such a platform, officials said.