"Should Expect...": S Jaishankar Amid Conflicts In Ukraine, Gaza

The Foreign Minister stressed the need to have a foreign policy that not only helps in maintaining peace in the country but also secures its borders.

'Should Expect...': S Jaishankar Amid Conflicts In Ukraine, Gaza

The EAM was interacting with the first-time voters in Delhi.

New Delhi:

Citing the 'unprecedented' conflicts that broke out in Ukraine and Gaza, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that coming years will be "very difficult", adding that once a conflict starts, it continues to escalate on its own.

He said that no one expected the Russia-Ukraine conflict to continue for over three years, or an attack on Israel of such a massive scale taking place on October 7.

The EAM was interacting with the first-time voters at Delhi Tamil Association School in the national capital on Monday.

Addressing the event, Jaishankar said, "We all should expect the coming years to be very difficult. Nobody expected that there would be a war in Ukraine. Even when it started, people expected it to be over in a few weeks, a few months. We are now in the third year of war with Ukraine with no end in sight...Nobody expected this kind of an attack on Israel in October, that this level of damage and killing would be done, or when Israel responded this would go for so long. It's already over six months."

"Once there is any conflict, any war...once you turn on the switch it is very difficult to turn it off. Once the problem starts, it turns to pick up on its own," he added.

The Foreign Minister stressed the need to have a foreign policy that not only helps in maintaining peace in the country but also secures its borders.

He also highlighted that the first thing for India's diplomacy is 'Bharat First' adding that New Delhi is contributing towards the resolution of conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

"What we need in India is peace...for ourselves and for the world. Even if peace is not there in the world, at least for ourselves...Many of you are fortunate that in this country for 25 years, you have not seen war...the best thing we could wish for a country is peace, prosperity. The best way to do is to have a foreign policy that we continue to (contribute) peace for the world, but we also protect our borders. We are strong enough to secure our borders, and deter other countries...we are able to contribute," Jaishankar said.

"In Ukraine also we are contributing. Also, when things became quite difficult between Iran and Israel, we talked with both of them...The first thing for India's diplomacy is Bharat first, we must make sure Bharat is secure, at peace, and terrorist attacks are not carried out against our country. If there are we must make sure that there is a strong punishment for those who carried out the attack," he added.

Speaking on the recent protests in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Jaishankar said that the possible reason for the violence is the resentment among locals is the lack of progress in PoJK in comparison to the strong progress in the Kashmir valley.

"I don't think people are saying that PoK will be part of India. PoK was always a part of India... PoK, for reasons we all know, is currently occupied by Pakistan. We are seeing a lot of ferment in PoK...One reason could be that they are seeing the progress in Kashmir valley, they are saying their life is getting better, why should I be left behind, maybe," Jaishankar said.

He, however, also pointed out that it is not the people of Kashmir but the "leadership" that has to be blamed for the valley being left behind for so many years. Jaishankar said that Kashmir is a good example of the result of good governance.

"Please do not blame the people of Kashmir for any problems that they have been in for the last 80 years. It is a small section of the leadership there and leadership here, which has caused the problem...Once you bring normalcy to Kashmir and integrate them with India...suddenly the economy picks up, tourism picks up, people start going to school, medical colleges start up, businesses grow, and international flights happen," the EAM said.

He added, "All this could have happened before, but a small section of people wanted to keep it backwards because they were getting benefits out of it and they were propagating their political views... Kashmir is a good example of what happens when there is good governance and you tell people very honestly, these are the benefits and choices you can make and you immediately see the benefit of that."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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