External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Photo Credit: PTI file)
In an apparent attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the entire neighbourhood in South Asia, minus one, has been a fairly good story for regional cooperation. Jaishankar, while responding to a question at a session of the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, said the Kashmir issue did come up in meetings with the US.
"I would say the entire neighbourhood, minus one, had actually been a fairly good story of regional cooperation," Jaishankar said.
Ever since the Narendra Modi government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state and Ladakh into union territories on August 5, Pakistan has been trying to attack India at various international forums over the decision. The move by the government was taken to help ensure that people of Jammu and Kashmir get the same constitutional benefits as the rest of the country.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, had raised the issue of Kashmir and cautioned the global body of "consequences" if India and Pakistan - two nuclear-armed nations - waged war.
Jaishankar, while outlining India's contributions across the world, today also said New Delhi is willing to engage more with countries related to different matters.
"We are in a very unique position. Being a market economy, and a democratic and socially pluralistic country, we have comfort with the West. Being a part of rising Asia, we have comfort with a lot of rebalancing with Asian countries," he said.
"While working with countries of Asia and Africa, we have a much stronger bonding with those countries. You saw recently at the UN, the willingness today to go out and engage with countries, visit more countries and therefore you can see a new energy in our foreign affairs," Jaishankar said.
"India is an exception as we are more nationalistic, but at the same time we don't see a tension between being nationalistic and being international, in the sense of engaging more with the world, so nationalism is not a negative sentiment," he said.