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From Russian Imports Row to LAC Issue: Times When EAM Jaishankar Defended India with Hard-Hitting Responses

Source : News18

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (Source: @ians_india/Twitter)



External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s strong rebuttal to the US on its criticism of “human rights abuses” in India at a joint news conference after the 2+2 dialogue has turned heads. A day after defending India’s Russian oil import with a savage response, Jaishankar on Wednesday again guarded the country in his fierce way as he responded criticism of human rights abuses and said even New Delhi has concerns about human rights in America.

“We also take our views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States”. So, we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community. And in fact, we had a case yesterday that’s really where we stand on that,” Jaishankar said.

This, however, is not the first time External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has given a hard-hitting response at a global platform in India’s defense.

From tearing into China over LAC issue to his tough response to UK and US on India’s stance over Russia-Ukraine crisis, here are some instances when Jaishankar’s savage responses hit some countries out of the park:

‘We Too Have Views About Their Views’: Jaishankar’s Retort to US Concern Over Human Rights in India

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday made a strong rebuttal to the US on its criticism of “human rights abuses” in India, saying even New Delhi has concerns about human rights in America. “Look, people are entitled to have views about us. But we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out,” he said.

Jaishankar’s riposte comes a day after he defended India’s Russian oil import and insisted that the US look closely at its western allies before suggesting New Delhi over importing energy resources from Moscow.

Speaking at a joint news conference after the 2+2 dialogue, Jaishankar said that even “we also take our views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States”. “So, we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community. And in fact, we had a case yesterday that’s really where we stand on that,” he added.

‘Less Than What Europe Buys In An Afternoon’: Jaishankar To US On Russian Energy Imports

On Monday, the United States told India that buying Russian energy is not in its interest as it tried to pit India against Russia using war in Ukraine as a reason. The US tried to get India on its team alongside the western nations and NATO allies and tried to draw a parallel between the Indo-Pacific and Russia’s so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

Union minister S Jaishankar, however, was quick to remind US media persons present in Washington that the US should extend similar suggestions to its allies in western Europe who are more dependent on Russia than India.

Jaishankar in an apparent response to the statement, when questioned by the American media on India’s purchase of crude oil from Russia said that the US should advise the same to its European allies. “If you’re looking at energy purchases from Russia, I’d suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,” Jaishankar said.

‘Most Major Russian Oil Buyers In Europe’: Jaishankar’s Tough Reply

In another hard-hitting response, Jaishankar defended India’s decision to look for “good deals” for its energy requirement amid volatility in the market, while highlighting that Europe has been a major buyer of Russian oil and gas even after the crisis in Ukraine unfolded.

EAM Jaishankar made the remarks earlier this month in the presence of visiting British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum, shortly after holding extensive talks with her on a range of issues, including the situation in Ukraine.

“When the oil prices go up, I think it is natural for countries to go out into the market and look for what are the good deals for their people,” Jaishankar said.

“But I am pretty sure if we wait for two or three months and actually look at who are the big buyers of Russian oil and gas, I suspect the list would not be too different from what it used to be and I suspect we won’t be in the top 10 on that list,” he said.

‘China bigger threat…’: When Jaishankar tore into Beijing at Indo-Pacific meet

Jaishankar in February this year sought to remind the European and Indo-Pacific countries that China is a bigger threat facing the entire global community today. Addressing the European Union Ministerial Forum on Indo-Pacific in Paris, Jaishankar cautioned the EU and other countries that it is important to “counter the hegemonic designs in the Indo-Pacific or else the forces of disequilibrium will spread even to Europe”.

Jaishankar’s remarks pointing out the need to focus on growing Beijing’s aggression came when the Russia-Ukraine crisis was brewing, with the US and EU ready with tough action against Moscow.

‘We are not the only country dealing with disturbances in our neighbourhood’

In January 2020, Jaishankar gave a scathing response to the criticism over NRC and the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Raisina Dialogue.

India’s challenges of “terrorism, separatism and migration” are only a “national variant” of other countries that face similar global challenges, Jaishankar had said, referring to Kashmir, NRC and the agitation over CAA.

Defending the government in response to a question at MEA’s annual international conference “Raisina Dialogue” about how he deals with criticism in several world capitals, Jaishankar said those countries criticising India must consider how they themselves have dealt with the same issues.

“Others should answer, how did they respond? We are not the only country dealing with disturbances in our neighbourhood. Europe has seen conflict; the US had 9/11 [terror attacks]. How did they respond? It is important to reflect on your own way of handling these issues. On naturalisation (immigration laws), what is the pathway they took?” said Jaishankar, adding that critics must not “get fixated on the dots and ignore the line” or big picture.

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