New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogue 2019 in Italy has said that in Indian or other Asian traditions, countries don't comment on the internal affairs of other country and highlighted the perils of taking "positions" which looks like double standards.
He said, "There is an Indian or Asian view on how inter-state relations should be conducted. Whatever your view is about what is happening around the world, you are very cautious about commenting on the internal affairs of people. That has been Indian or the Asian tradition.."
While he said he is aware that such traditions are not in Europe and North America, "problem is when you start being judgemental...danger is that you will be selective" with demonstrations somewhere being fine, but if one has his own stakes, same demonstrations will not be liked.
Explaining with an example, he said, "Around the time of 9/11, we had a dictatorship towards the east of India and u had a dictatorship towards the west of India. The dictatorship towards the east of India was Myanmar which had sanctions by the US and Europe, dictatorship towards the west of India was Pakistan under Gen Musharraf who was hailed as the ally of the West".
The comments come with an increasingly vocal west on the situation in Kashmir which has been calling New Delhi to remove restrictions imposed after August 5. The restrictions were imposed to prevent any law and order situation or as the government in Delhi said, it may be exploited by Pakistan to fan cross border terror in the Valley.
Jaishankar also highlighted the proactive role played by India in the region as the first responders in Nepal, Yemen and on the climate action front especially by bridging the gap between the developing and developed world.
He said, "In about a decade we will be the 3rd largest economy, in five years we will be the most populous country. India is externalising at a faster rate."
This is the first time India has been invited for the Mediterranean Dialogue. The dialogue was launched in 1994 for cooperation between NATO and the 7 countries of the Mediterranean--Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.