Bengaluru: Stressing on the greater role that India will play in the future, foreign secretary S. Jaishankar said that today the international relations demands much more ‘nimbler and multi-dimensional foreign policy’ with an ability to take a call depending upon the situations.
“In the last 70 years, on the positive side we have secured our national integrity and the relationship with the NATO powers are substantive and balanced. The world expects us to play a greater role in international negotiations and the Indian diaspora is greatly respected,” Jaishankar said at the K Subrahmanyam Memorial Lecture at National Institute of Advanced Studies.
Explaining the kind of change of India underwent from the era of Subrahmanyam, when the country was yet to overcome the aftereffects of partition and improve scientific capabilities which were still in the nascent stage, Jaishankar pointed out that without factoring the turbulent period of the conflicts of 1960s, it was difficult to understand Subrahmanyam’s generation.
Sharply reacting to a question that India despite spending millions of dollars in Afghanistan hardly did anything to on our border when compared with China which improved railway network from Beijing to Lhasa, Jaishankar said, “There is no country other than India which has a better reputation in Afghan’s eyes. The Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam) is the biggest sign that people gave up guns and took to farming. The money by the Indian Government was effectively spent.”
He cited the opportune use of WTO (World Trade Organisation) window behind China’s growth, which expanded its economic influence. “At a time when the US was absorbed in Afghanistan and Iraq, China built new relationships at this time. They even had the ability to respond to 2008 global crisis which many Western Nations did not have,” Jaishankar said.
Appreciating China’s expansion in infrastructure and technology as a professional, Jaishankar stressed that it had exceeded expectations. Though the foreign secretary implied that 90 per cent of the challenges of India are domestic, awareness must be build up within the country to let people know of the expectations the world has with India. He also added that there is still room for infrastructural improvement at the border region.