New Delhi: Sharply criticising the current NDA government on the foreign policy front, former foreign secretary and former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon on Friday reportedly said the amendment of the Citizenship Act by the government was a “self-inflicted goal” which has “isolated” India and that the list of critical voices both at home and abroad is “pretty long”.
Speaking at an event where a number of academicians discussed the adverse implications of the contentious law which has led to nation-wide protests, Mr. Menon also reportedly said the move has resulted in India being “hyphenated” with Pakistan as an “intolerant” state.
“What we have achieved in the recent past is to hyphenate our (India’s) image with Pakistan in a fundamental way, which is an intolerant state. India has isolated itself through the move and the list of critical voices in the international community is also pretty long now. The perception of India has changed in the last few months. Even our friends have been taken aback,” Mr. Menon was quoted as saying.
“If this is how our friends feel, think of how happy this will make our adversary. What we have achieved in the recent past is to hyphenate our image with Pakistan in a fundamental way, which is intolerant state. What the world thinks matters more to us now than ever before. But we seem determined with actions like these (CAA) to cut off and isolate ourselves. That is no good to anybody,” Mr. Menon was further quoted as saying.
Terming the CAA a ‘self-inflicted goal’, Mr. Menon said India has ‘gifted’ its adversaries “platforms from which to attack us”.
“We seem to be in violation of international covenants. Those who think that international laws cannot be enforced, they must consider political and other consequences of being perceived as violators of international conventions,” he added.
In an apparent reference to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s cancellation of a scheduled meeting with a US congressional delegation over the presence of Indian American Con-gresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has been critical of the Indian government, Mr. Menon was quoted as saying, “Rather than attending the meeting and putting forth India’s views, we chose to duck.”