“If Imran Khan is such a statesman he should give us Masood Azhar, it will show how ‘naya’ Pakistan is,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, alluding to reports in the media lauding Pakistan’s prime minister and his claim of ‘Naya’ (new) Pakistan.
Swaraj was delivering a public address on the Modi government’s foreign policy at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.
She recalled meetings with foreign envoys in the wake of the Pulwama terror strike. “All of them expressed their condolences over the dead CRPF personnel and would end with the question—will India escalate? My point was Pulwama is not our destiny but India will not compromise.”
All of them, she noted, said they were “with India”.
The reference to Pakistan came at the very end of her nearly hour long address where she touched on the Modi government’s diplomatic initiatives.
“People said Modi was anti-Muslim but Modi has proved that ties with Muslim countries have never been better. The invitation by the Organisation of Islamic Conference was no ordinary invitation. It came 50 years after the same organization would not allow an Indian delegation to attend the summit in Rabat, Morocco. India has got ‘badla’ (revenge) for that 1969 humiliation,” said Swaraj.
India knows how to manage and balance relationships, she said. India has good ties with Russia and the U.S. even though both remain implacably opposed to each other. India has good relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran, Palestine and Israel. “This is because we do not claim others’ territory and our relationship is never at the cost of other nations.”
She slammed the United Nations Security Council as the “most ineffective body that does not reflect current geopolitical realities,” and made clear India’s stand: “India wants UNSC membership with veto.”
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